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When Loddon grows up

Released on 4 July 2019

Council is urging young people in the community to have their say on what they need, in a bid to retain this important group in the Shire.

There are currently 931 young people aged between 12 and 24 living in the area, compared to 863 in 2011.

Despite the growth in this age group, retaining young people in the Shire remains a long term issue.

Mayor Cheryl McKinnon said a lack of availability of services, education providers and employment opportunities have been identified as reasons our young people move elsewhere.

“Council has also found many of these people don’t return for the same reason, in addition to many forming relationships and connections in their new environment,” Cr McKinnon added.

In response, Loddon Shire Council is now working on a Youth Strategy to ensure young people feel supported and have access to employment, recreation, social, health and education opportunities.

Cr McKinnon said Council would work closely with young people, community groups and other government agencies to maximise opportunities for young people who live and work in the Shire.

“We also need to hear from young people regarding how we can address these issues to make staying in the Shire an appealing prospect.

“Young people are extremely important to the future of smaller shires such as Loddon. The median age in our Shire is 51 years old, which is eight years higher than the regional Victoria average and 14 years higher than the state average.

“Retaining, growing and diversifying Loddon Shire’s population is a key strategic objective for Council, including retaining youth.

“Young people now have a chance to have their say about what they need in our Shire, and I urge them to take this opportunity.”

Young people can find out how they can have their say by visiting www.loddon.vic.gov.au/Live/Services-for-our-younger-residents/Youth-programs/Youth-Strategy

The Conversation Caravan team will also be out in the community during July to further gather feedback about young people’s needs.

For further details contact Allan Stobaus at Council on (03) 5494 1200.

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