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MAYORAL COLUMN 19 December 2016

Released on 19 December 2016

Keep an eye on your mates

Photo caption: The Loddon Healthy Minds Network Art Competition invited students to explore exactly what it means to Look Out For Your Mates. Best in show was awarded to Rochelle Vella who created a piece which prompts us to ask others how they are travelling.

Over the last week or so VCE students have been digesting their results and possibly reassessing course preferences and future employment paths.

It is a time of celebration for many as they look forward to pursuing long held ambitions, but for others may bring a sense of disappointment or mixed feelings after many months of hard work and dedication.

In the second half of this year the Loddon Healthy Minds Network facilitated an art competition to help raise awareness of mental health issues in our community.

The Look Out For Your Mates theme inspired 32 entries from secondary school age students across our municipality.

As a community we need to remain mindful of the stories and lessons shared through the eyes of our young artists, and encourage our children to look out for their mates who may not be travelling as well as some.

Take the time to remind them that there is more than one path to a fulfilling future and the taking an alternative route can often lead to unexpected happiness and reward.

Janiember Park project on track

The frame is up and the roof firmly secured on Serpentine’s newly developed sports complex.

It’s pleasing to see this project remaining on target, ahead of it being handed over to the community sometime around the middle of May next year.

The new Janiember Park facilities include Netball Victoria and AFL compliant male and female changerooms, a community gymnasium, playground and landscaping with a war memorial feature.

The project also includes plans to convert the old change-rooms into a new social area and some upgrade works to the Memorial Hall.

The state government has committed $500,000, Inglewood and District Community Bank $100,000, with Loddon Shire Council and the user groups of Janiember Park providing the balance of funds to complete this exciting community project.

Inglewood Community Centre update

Council is expected to take possession of the Inglewood Community Centre built adjacent to the Town Hall early in the New Year, by which time all outstanding works will have been completed.

Landscaping work including the laying of gravel pathways, top soil and seed, and the establishment of an accompanying irrigation system will signal the completion of this important project.

I would encourage residents passing by the area on foot to keep to the pathways as the new lawns are established.

This project would not have come to fruition without the joint financial backing of local, state and Australian governments, along with a generous contribution from the Inglewood and District Community Bank.

Christmas office and service operating

It’s timely for my column to dedicate some space to Council office and service operating hours over the festive period.

Council offices in Wedderburn and Serpentine will close at noon on Thursday 22 December for the afternoon. The offices will then be closed from noon Friday 23 December 2016 and reopen at 8.15am on Tuesday 3 January 2017.

The Loddon Visitor Information Centre will be closed on Christmas Day, but is otherwise open every day from 9am to 5pm. For enquiries phone 5494 3489.

The Community Services Department will be closed from noon Friday 23 December 2016 and reopen at 8.15am on Tuesday 3 January 2017. Limited personal care and meals on wheels services will be provided. No home care, respite care or property maintenance services will be offered during this period. Client service emergencies are to be directed to 0427 804 736.

There will be no changes to scheduled kerbside garbage and recycling collections during December 2016 and January 2017.

On Christmas Day and New Year’s Day landfill / transfer stations at Pyramid Hill, Boort, Wedderburn and Newbridge will be closed.

Landfill stations at Pyramid Hill and Boort will be closed on Tuesday 27 December 2016.

The Wedderburn transfer station will be closed on Australia Day (Thursday 26 January 2017).

Finally, on behalf of everyone at Loddon Shire I would like to wish you a happy and safe Christmas!

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