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Mayoral Column 2 February 2016

Released on 2 February 2016

Hats off to our Australia Day award winners

Well, they’ve done it again! A small army of community minded committees have successfully hosted a range of Australia Day events across the Shire.

I would like to personally thank all involved for helping bring our communities together. We couldn’t do it without you.

This week’s column also provides the perfect opportunity to congratulate our Australia Day award recipients.

While each winner has a different story to tell, they have one thing in common, a willingness to quietly contribute, regardless of individual strengths, skills and circumstances.

Space restrictions allow me to touch on just one story, that of Loddon Shire’s Citizen of the Year, John Piccoli.

John is a widely known and loved identity who is taking Boort to the rest of the nation though his award winning spanner sculptures.

Born and bred in Boort, John contracted polio when he was eight and is confined to a wheelchair, but through sheer determination went on to run a successful farm.

Several years ago John’s creativity led him to welding spanners into stunning sculptural artwork which attracts thousands of tourists to Loddon Shire each year, raises money for charity and encourages other young artists.

John is a generous, inspirational and worthy winner of the prestigious Loddon Shire Citizen of the Year, and I congratulate him along with other Australia Day award recipients.

These include Emma Leech and Thomas Jackson (young citizen of the year joint winners), Boort Historical Society (community group of the year), Advance Crew – Dingee (community project of the year), Hazel Whitmore (Boort community services award), Valerie Johns (Inglewood community services award), John Corry (Tarnagulla community services award), Keith Richards (Terrick community services award), Lance Ward, David and Fay Lockhart (Wedderburn community services award joint winners).

Give Bridgewater Triathlon a try

While some of us are sporty by nature and others prefer to cheer from the side-lines, you’re likely to find a pace to suit at Bridgewater this Sunday.

The 13th Annual Bridgewater Triathlon is designed to cater for all fitness levels, with four courses of varying difficulty, to choose from.

A fun course comprising a 50 metre swim, three kilometre ride and one kilometre run is available for the beginner, while a step up from that is the short course including a 200 metre swim, 10 kilometre ride and three kilometre run.

Seasoned entrants are likely to compete in the long course 500 metre swim, 20 kilometre ride and five kilometre run, or the duathlon which begins with a two kilometre run, followed by a 20 kilometre ride and winding up with a three kilometre sprint to the finish line.

Scores of athletes and families flock to Bridgewater each year for the event which significantly benefits our Shire’s business and tourism sectors.

The community focused fun gets underway at Bridgewater Caravan Park from 8am, with a range of prizes, including two $500 cash prizes, to be won by a lucky club or school.

For more information, or to enter online, go to www.bridgewateronloddon.com.au/triathlon

Help direct Loddon Shire’s tourism strategy

Council is calling on tourism operators, would-be tourism operators and associated businesses, to have direct input into the development of a five year Shire wide tourism strategy.

By now those already involved in the Loddon Shire tourism industry should have received a survey designed to gain feedback on tourism products, marketing tools and plans for growth.

We’re hoping to receive a strong response to the distributed survey so we can take on board a broad range of concepts and points of view when developing the five-year plan being developed in conjunction with Bendigo-based consulting firm, Communityvibe.

I would also encourage interested residents to attend a dinner to be held on Tuesday 16 February at the Loddon Visitor Information Centre, 24 Wilson Street Wedderburn from 6pm.

By attending you’ll have an opportunity to workshop ideas on how we can further develop and enhance Loddon Shire as a key visitor destination.

For further information contact Wendy Holland on 0438 433 555, or Robyn Vella on 5494 3003.

Take advantage of our business directory

Private businesses and government organisations within Loddon Shire, are free to list their details with Council’s business directory.

Council regularly receives calls from people wanting to be put in touch with a range of businesses within the municipality.

Whether the customer wants to reach a gardener, mechanic or accommodation provider, we refer them to our business directory.

To ensure you don’t miss a potential opportunity, log onto our website at www.loddon.vic.gov.au.

Simply click on the “Invest” heading, scroll down to our business directory, and provide a few brief details to help keep business rolling your way.

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