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MAYORAL COLUMN 12 December 2016

Released on 12 December 2016

A taste of Loddon reaches Government House

Photo caption: Current and former Young Citizen of the Year recipients joined Loddon Shire Council Chief Executive Officer Phil Pinyon at a Government House reception hosted by Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AM.

Images depicting Loddon Shire’s strong agribusiness future and rich gold mining history feature on a hand crafted decoration hanging from the Victorian Community Christmas Tree unveiled earlier this month at Government House.

Olive plantations and production, sheep and wool production, wheat and grain crops, as well as Loddon’s rich gold mining history and Council logo adorn the faces of the decorative cube.

Loddon Shire’s participation in the event follows the Governor asking each Victorian regional city and shire to submit a decorative ornament representing their municipality.

Past and present Young Citizen of the Year recipients Crystal Shaw-Beck of Dingee, Thomas Jackson of Wedderburn and Emma Leech of Mitiamo accompanied Loddon Shire Council Chief Executive Officer Phil Pinyon to Government House for the special event.

By all accounts these young people carried themselves, and in turn their communities, in a manner we can all proud of and on behalf of Council I congratulate each of you on your participation.

Connection the key to healthy, happy communities

If you’re reading this and you live in Loddon Shire, chances are you consider yourself to belong to a tight knit community with helpful neighbours, but on the down side there’s a fair chance you haven’t exercised this week.

If you’re wondering where those thoughts come from, you may be interested to learn they essentially come from you, or your neighbours, who were among some 23,000 Victorian adults who participated in The VicHealth Indicators Survey conducted every four years.

Recently released survey data revealed an impressive 90.1 percent of Loddon Shire residents believe people in their neighbourhood are willing to help each other out, compared to 74.1 percent of Victorians living in other areas.

The survey also discovered four in every five, or 80.5 percent of residents, felt that they live in a close-knit neighbourhood, compared to the Victorian average estimate of 61 per cent.

In turn, almost eight out of 10 or 77.8 percent of us feel safe walking alone in our locality after dark, which is significantly more than the Victorian estimate  of 55.1 percent.

On the down side, compared to other Victorians, a significantly larger proportion of Loddon residents failed to engage in physical activity during the week.

According to the data 30.1 percent of surveyed Loddon Shire residents engaged in no physical activity during the week, compared to 18.9 percent of other Victorians surveyed.

Council will use this valuable community survey information to help prioritise and guide future service delivery and funding applications.

In the meantime, make sure you continue to keep an eye out for your neighbours as the holiday season approaches and consider visiting your local pool or throwing on your sneakers to take a step towards ever better health and wellbeing.

Grants for business savvy NBN users

Loddon Shire residents using high speed NBN internet services to maximise business opportunities, are encouraged to find out more about the Grown With NBN Grants Program 2017.

Grants available through the program are awarded to recognise outstanding use of NBN connectivity to optimise communication, growth or learning outcomes.

With statistics showing 70 percent of those with nbn access live in regional and non-metropolitan Australia, Loddon Shire is sure to have a few possible candidates.

Three major grants of $25,000 and six minor grants of $10,000 are on offer, with one of the minor grants recipients in line to receive an additional $15,000 through the NBN staff vote.

For more information, or to submit an application, visit www.growwithnbn.com.au and https://nbn.awardsplatform.com.

Entries close at midday on Friday 17 February 2017.

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