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Mayoral Column 12 March 2018

Released on 12 March 2018

Do you live in a Tidy Town?

The 2018 Keep Victoria Beautiful Tidy Towns – Sustainable Communities Awards are now open.

These awards are an opportunity to recognise, highlight and celebrate what’s great about our towns while acknowledging the hard work that has made your area special, sustainable and liveable.

Award categories include environmental sustainability, protection of the environment, litter prevention, active schools, resource recovery and waste management, young leaders, community actions and leadership, and more.

In mentioning Tidy Towns and taking pride in our beautiful region, it’s timely to remind our residents to please ensure your property doesn’t become unsightly and to remove any build-up of rubbish.

Unsightly properties, such as those littered with rusty machinery and cars, rotting mattresses, old tyres and other dilapidated and unused material, create a poor first impression of our region to visitors. Furthermore, no one wants to live (or work) beside an unsightly property.

As litter builds on a property it lessens the ability of owners to mow and maintain their yards, while creating a haven for vermin and snakes. What’s more, as surrounding grass and vegetation grows longer and thicker, these properties can become a fire risk.

Council’s Local Laws officers continue to make regular visual assessments of properties and issue clean-up notices to residents whose properties become eye-sores. Where possible, Council will work with residents who have been issued a clean-up notice to resolve the problem.

If owners refuse to cooperate, Council will either take steps to enforce the clean up or (as a last resort) undertake the work itself, requiring the property owner to reimburse costs to Council.

While Council respects ratepayers’ rights to use or enjoy their residential land, we must also ensure we keep the best interests of the broader community front and centre.

To find out more about the 2018 Keep Victoria Beautiful Tidy Towns – Sustainable Communities Awards and to enter online, visit www.kvb.org.au/tidy-towns. Entries for the awards close 19 March 2018.

New trails to be launched

On 21 March I’m looking forward to attending the launch of two new trails in the Wedderburn area, the 6.8-kilometre Queens Gully Trail and eight-kilometre Blue Mallee Trail.

These trails, which take cyclists and walkers through some of the area’s historic sites, while showcasing flora and fauna, will provide another fantastic outlet for residents and visitors to get out and enjoy our region’s scenic environment.

The trails have been developed in partnership between Loddon Shire Council, DELWP, Wedderburn Tourism, Parks Victoria, Bush Heritage, Wedderburn Development Association and the Wedderburn community. 

In addition to walking, the trails are designed to be family-friendly rides for mountain and hybrid bikes. Signage at the start of the trails provide its length as well as a QR code, which lets users download information about trail (including a map) directly to their smartphone.

The new trails complement existing tracks and trails located throughout the Shire in Boort, Bridgewater, Inglewood, Laanecoorie, Pyramid Hill, Serpentine and Tarnagulla.

More information regarding Loddon Shire’s walking and cycling trails is available from www.loddon.vic.gov.au. Choose “Live” from the drop-down menu and then click on “Community facilities”.

The launch of the Queens Gully and Blue Mallee trails will take place on Wednesday 21 March at 10.30am at the historic reservoir behind the caravan park, Butterick Lane, Wedderburn.

Duck opening

With the opening of the 2018 duck hunting season starting on Saturday 17 March, Victoria’s Game Management Authority is reminding hunters that bag limits remain at 10 birds per person per day. The hunting of the Blue-winged Shoveler is prohibited.

New times for the weekend have been introduced this year, that is, 9am on Saturday 17 March and 8am on Sunday 18 March. Hunting ceases half an hour after sunset for every day of the season, including the opening weekend.

Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) is also reminding those taking part in the season to familiarise themselves with designated hunting areas at the water corporation’s lakes, dams and reservoirs.

Visit the Victorian Game Management website at www.gma.vic.gov.au for more information on 2018 duck season arrangements and regulations.

For more information regarding hunting at GMW storages, including maps of designated hunting areas, visit www.g-mwater.com.au/recreation-tourism/duck-hunting

The 2018 duck hunting season runs for 12-weeks until Monday 11 June.

Friends of Kooyoora day

Join the Friends of Kooyoora for a Family Fun day on Sunday 18 March at the Melville Caves picnic ground area.

If you’ve never had the chance to visit the Kooyoora State Park or haven’t been for a while, the Family Fun Day is a great opportunity to discover (or re-discover) Kooyoora.

Starting at 10.30am, the free day will include an Easter egg hunt, fun games and activities in the granitic boulders of Kooyoora State Park. Enjoy a BYO picnic in the picturesque surrounds before ending the day with a walk along one of the many walking tracks.

For further information and a link to book the event, visit www.loddon.vic.gov.au and click on the Events calendar under the “Visit” drop-down menu at the top of the page.

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