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Mayoral Column 18 June 2018

Released on 18 June 2018

Queen’s Birthday Honours recognition

Congratulations to Ian McPherson from Eddington and Mark Gilmore from Kingower on being recognised as part of the Queen’s Birthday 2018 Honours List.

Mr McPherson is the recipient of a Medal of the Order of Australia for his services helping disadvantaged youth and dedication to golf, including founding chairman of the Tee-Up For Kids Foundation.

Mr Gilmore, who received the prestigious Australian Fire Services Medal, has given 40 years of service to the CFA and Forest Fire Management in Victoria and is the CFA Operations Manager (Regional Commander) for the Loddon Mallee region. 

Well done to both Mr McPherson and Mr Gilmore on this well-deserved recognition.

Pick My Project closing soon

A reminder that applications for the Victorian Government’s community grants initiative Pick My Project closes on Sunday 24 June 2018.

Pick My Project gives community members the chance to suggest and decide on ideas that will make their community a better place to live. All Victorians aged 16 years and over have the chance to submit project ideas for consideration.

As mentioned previously, Pick My Project is a great opportunity for our community members to work with Loddon Shire (and the State Government) to try and secure funding for your favourite local idea or project that may not come under other grant programs.

Ideas could focus on funding for sport and recreation activities, improving health and wellbeing, innovation, arts and culture, and ideas that improve our community and bring people together.

Once you have your idea, you then need to partner with an eligible organisation, such as a community group, school or Loddon Shire before you submit your idea.

Community members will decide on their favourite ideas by voting (giving local residents the first and final say on the best way to improve their local area), with winning ideas receiving funding. Winning projects will be announced in September 2018.

Projects between $20,000 and $200,000 are eligible for the program, with a total of $30 million allocated for Pick My Project to fund community ideas around the state.  

To find out more visit www.pickmyproject.vic.gov.au 

Boost Your Business vouchers – Round 2

Victorian businesses are encouraged to apply for the second round of the State Government’s Boost Your Business initiative, which is open until Friday 13 July 2018.

The Boost Your Business program aims to support Victorian businesses to become more productive, employ more people, improve market access and generally increase scale, diversity and profitability.

Businesses are able to apply for vouchers of up to $50,000 under six different streams – Advanced Victorian Manufacturing, Asia Gateway, Defence, Aerospace and Security, Food Innovation, Social Enterprise Capability (up to $25,000) and Victoria Israel Innovation.

The vouchers provide funding for businesses to engage Registered Service Providers to undertake selected activities such as developing new products, improving processes and systems, identifying new export markets, research and development, and certification. Please note, the program requires a dollar-for-dollar co-contribution.
 
To find out more, including program guidelines and eligibility or to apply, visit www.business.vic.gov.au/boost-your-business or call Regional Development Victoria, Bendigo (03) 4433 8000 or Mildura (03) 5051 2000.

Find out your household’s energy use

If you’re worried about your energy bills, are buying, selling or renovating a home, notice that your house gets too hot in summer and freezing in winter – then it could be worth taking part in the Scorecard program.

Supported by the Victorian Government, Scorecard is Australia’s first home energy rating program for all Victorians.

Under the program, householders can arrange for an accredited assessor to come to their home and assess how they can improve their home to use less energy. The price of the assessment will vary depending on the assessor, your home and the complexity of the assessment.

The assessors use the government-supported Scorecard webtool to rate the energy efficiency of the home's construction, fixed appliances and other key features such as solar PV energy production.

A two-page rating certificate recommends upgrade options to improve the home's rating (matched to the circumstances of the householder and features of the home).

For more information, including a list of accredited commercial assessors and not-for-profit organisations that offer assessments, visit the Scorecard website www.victorianenergysaver.vic.gov.au/scorecard

Plan ahead for winter road conditions

With winter having arrived, VicRoads is encouraging motorists to prepare for challenging driving conditions, including icy conditions.

Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead and check the weather forecast before starting their journey. In particular, when conditions include heavy rain, strong winds or snow, VicRoads encourage motorists to consider holding off and only driving when conditions have improved.

However, as we live in Loddon Shire, travel is often unavoidable. If you have to travel in difficult weather, VicRoads urges you to check your vehicle’s tyres are in good condition ahead of time, that you are well rested before leaving and are patient on the road.

If you are driving in fog, mist or slippery conditions don’t forget to use headlights, slow down, brake gently and keep a safe distance from the cars in front. It can take twice the distance for a vehicle to come to a complete stop in icy conditions compared to dry weather.

If you are travelling towards Melbourne, VicRoads reminds motorists that Black Forest Drive and the Calder Freeway between Gisborne and Kyneton are areas where black ice often occurs and snow occasionally falls near Macedon, which can be extremely hazardous to motorists.

If you see signs advising of black ice please drive with extreme caution, even if the road appears to be clear. 

In addition to checking weather forecasts, motorists should check road conditions at https://traffic.vicroads.vic.gov.au.

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