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Mayoral Column 2 April 2018

Released on 2 April 2018

Settlement Strategy consultation

Council is currently preparing its Settlement Strategy, which plans for residential development in our towns and rural areas, and would like to hear from you.

In particular, Council wants your thoughts on growth in our community, where new development should be, what sized lots are suitable and what might be limiting population and residential growth in your community.

A number of drop-in sessions will take place in April for you to discuss your ideas.

The first session will be on Monday 16 April from 10am to 2.30pm at the Shire Offices in Wedderburn. This will be followed by sessions on Wednesday 18 April from 9am to 11am at the Inglewood Town Hall Hub and 12pm to 2pm at Newbridge Public Hall.

Sessions will also take place on Monday 23 April from 9am to 11am at Pyramid Hill Neighbourhood House and 12pm to 2pm in Boort at BRIC. On Thursday 26 April there will be sessions at the Council office in Serpentine from 9am to 11am and Bridgewater Public Hall from 12pm to 2pm.

You can also visit www.loddon.vic.gov.au for meeting location details, and research and background information about the Settlement Strategy.

Written submissions for the Settlement Strategy will be open until Monday 14 May 2018.

If you are unable to attend any of the sessions, but would still like to discuss your ideas (or want more information) please contact Carolyn Stephenson at Council via email planning@loddon.vic.gov.au or call 5494 1200.

Central Victorian Agribusiness forum

On 23 March, together with my fellow Councillor Colleen Condliffe, I attended the Horizon360 Ag Conference, a collaborative event between the Central Victorian Agribusiness Forum and the Committee for Echuca Moama Inc.

The conference explored the new horizon of agribusiness and how agribusiness success is interconnected. Topics included on-farm data communications and analytics, Bendigo Saleyards’ radio frequency identification technology roll out, North Central Catchment Management Authority’s Plan2Farm program, effective farm business habits, sustainable irrigation program and virtual fencing technology, and more.

The Central Victorian Agribusiness Forum (CVAF) aims to provide neutral representation of our local agricultural region. Loddon Shire Council is part of the CVAF, as is Gannawarra Shire, City of Greater Bendigo, Central Goldfields Shire and Mount Alexander Shire.

The CVAF aims to be a strong voice for the region, provides communication and networking opportunities, helps raise the profile of regional agribusiness and provides information and support for new agribusiness opportunities. Additionally, it delivers education forums and project facilitation, and works with other agribusiness-focused organisations that help generate increased productivity, profitability and opportunity for the farming sector.

Customer Service Strategy adopted

I’d like to thank all our community members who provided their valuable feedback to the draft Customer Service Strategy 2018-2022.

Following closure of the feedback period on 25 February, the draft strategy was adopted at Council’s March Ordinary Meeting.

The Customer Service Strategy outlines Council’s commitment to delivery of its customer service across the Shire and includes a number of directions. These directions include providing accessible and flexible customer service, communicating and engaging effectively with our community and allocating customer service resources to areas of most need.

The strategy was developed in consultation with the community and Council staff, including a survey (which received more than 120 responses), community workshops and discussions in person, including at a number of community events.

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