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Mayoral Column 7 January 2019

Released on 7 January 2019

Positive outcome from Basin Plan Ministerial Council

Loddon Shire Council, along with its counterparts from the Murray River Group of Councils (MRGC), welcomed last month’s news that an agreement had been reached among the Basin Plan states and the Commonwealth regarding water recovery.

The MRGC was concerned about the apparent intention to recover a further 450 gigalitres of water, which would have had a substantial negative risk on our irrigation districts.
 
At its meeting on 14 December, the Basin Plan Ministerial Council agreed to adopt strong socio-economic criteria regarding the recovery of the additional 450 gigalitres.

This is a very pleasing outcome for our Northern Victoria communities. I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the Victorian Minister for Water Lisa Neville who fought for Victoria and helped to secure the adoption of the socio-economic criteria.

As reiterated by the Victorian Government, this agreement provides communities with the confidence that socio-economic impacts for all water savings measures will be properly addressed. This includes the consideration of cumulative, region-wide impacts, water prices and any impact on jobs.

Hopefully the criteria around the removal of any future water will be adhered to and we can go forward with confidence that the irrigation districts won’t be compromised by the implementation of the Basin Plan.

Additionally, the MRGC does support the environmental outcomes of the Plan – we want to see healthy river systems for everyone to enjoy.

Play It Safe by the Water

As we see the continuation of warmer temperatures during January and into February, swimming, of course, is a favourite way to cool off. However, it is important to make sure you practise good safety this summer when you’re in or around water.

Play It Safe by the Water (which aims to increase safety around water and reduce the number of drowning incidents in Victoria) is reminding Victorians to ensure they follow safety rules when around water.

This includes obeying all water safety signs, to not drink alcohol while taking part in activities around water (or when supervising children around water), and to make sure there’s someone looking out for you. Always be aware of the local water environment and weather conditions before entering the water.

For more information, visit Play It Safe by the Water at www.watersafety.vic.gov.au/.   

VicHealth Top Spin grants

Not-for-profit organisations (including youth, art and health organisations) are eligible to apply for Local Area Marketing grants by VicHealth to promote Top Spin.

Top Spin, which will take place from April to May this year, is a competition asking Victorians to share their thoughts on booze culture and tactics used by alcohol corporations.

The grant is specifically designed to spread the reach of the Top Spin initiative to young adults aged 18 to 29 years in local communities across Victoria. Eligible not-for-profit organisations can apply for up to $10,000 in funding for local area marketing.

Applications close at 4pm, Monday 18 February 2019. Promotion of the competition is expected to take place across Victoria between late February and mid-May 2019.

To find out more, visit www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/funding/top-spin-local-area-grants

Stop mental illness stigma charter adopted

At its final meeting for 2018, Council adopted the Stop Mental Illness Stigma Charter, which works towards reducing mental illness stigma through a series of commitments.

The Charter was developed through a joint project with the Hume and Loddon Mallee Murray Partners in Recovery (PIR) program, led by Murray Primary Health Network (PHN).

A survey of the community during the development of Council’s Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2017-2021, showed that 76 per cent of those surveyed said that improving mental health was very important or important.

The Council Plan 2017-2021 also commits to promoting policies and activities regarding community health, harmony and engagement.

Additionally, the Loddon Healthy Minds Strategic Plan 2017-2022, which was adopted by Council in May this year, envisions an inclusive, resilient and stigma free Loddon community with access to appropriate mental health services.

Council will now sign the Pledge to Stop Mental Illness Stigma. The signing of this document signals Council’s commitment to end mental illness stigma and discrimination. 

Did you know?

Under the Victorian Government’s Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008, Council is required to prepare a Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan.

Loddon Shire’s Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2017-2021 was adopted in September 2017. It incorporates four priority focus areas: Good Physical Health, Good Mental Health, Protect and Promote Health and Feel Safe and Secure.

The Plan is available from Council’s website at www.loddon.vic.gov.au.

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