Loddon Shire Council - Mayoral Column - 21 March 2012
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 News>Mayoral Column - 21 March 2012    
Mayoral Column - 21 March 2012  Printer Friendly

Gold hunt a tourist bonanza
The Labour Day weekend’s ideal weather gave residents and visitors alike the perfect opportunity to get out and explore Loddon Shire’s many natural assets.

Merna and I set out for a drive on the Sunday and were very pleased to see large numbers of people in the Laanecoorie area fishing and camping. Tarnagulla, too, was busy with tourists looking around the town.

Our destination for the day was Wedderburn, alive with visitors who had come from far and wide for the 13th annual Minelab Wedderburn Detector Jamboree.

Organisers estimated that about 1500 people were in town for the weekend.

This is a fine event and a credit to the band of hard-working volunteers at Wedderburn Tourism Inc. and Wedderburn Lions Club who put it all together.

I was impressed to hear that competitors had arrived for the event from as far away as Queensland, South Australia, Geelong, Gippsland, Ballarat and Melbourne to join with gold detector enthusiasts much closer to home.

I was also told many people make the Jamboree the centerpiece of their annual holidays, some staying in the area for weeks. What a boost to the local economy that’s going to be!

About 160 entrants focused their efforts on Hard Hill Tourist Reserve for two days in the hope of finding a metal token to enter into the draw to win a Minelab GPX-5000 detector, valued at $6700, and other prizes.

Congratulations to the lucky winner of the main prize, Russell Fazzani, of Wedderburn, a veteran of more than 25 years in gold detecting. Charlie Powell and Dean Smith took the next two places, winning new coils for their machines, while Peter Clarke came fourth.

It was my pleasure to present Peter with his reward – a gold nugget valued at $200.

Loddon Shire contributes $1000 to the event for marketing and promotion and the nugget is purchased from those funds.

The Inglewood & Districts Community Bendigo Bank gold panning competition also proved a great success, showing children and young people how to pan for gold while, at the same time, finding out more about the history of gold panning.

For those not so interested in finding gold, there were other options available – the Lifestyle in Loddon photography exhibition, the street market, the round of town garage sales and local natural attractions all proved popular.
Bush poetry at Laanecoorie
Noel Stallard, a renowned bush poet from Brisbane, will be entertaining those who enjoy Australian bush poetry on Saturday 24 March at 7.30pm, at Laanecoorie Hall. Noel has recited and won awards at Tamworth and has also participated as a judge of awards at Tamworth.
Pastures workshop planned
Primary producers in Loddon Shire have the rare opportunity of attending a pasture information day close to home next month when the Grassland Society of Southern Australia hosts a Pasture Update at the Boort Memorial Hall.

It’s the first time in many years that an event such as this has been held in the Shire.

The workshop, planned for Tuesday, 3 April, is jointly sponsored by the Birchip Cropping Group, Loddon Shire Council and the Department of Primary Industries.

Organiser Erica Schelfhorst, from DPI Bendigo, said the session would help producers decide on the right management practices for their pastures.

Ms Schelfhorst said the session would detail outcomes from local trials and present seed and crop options to suit local conditions.

“There hasn’t been a pasture day like this in the region for many years,” she said. “We will be talking about new developments that will provide valuable information for producers.”

The Pasture Update runs from 9.30am to 3.15pm. For more details, phone Ms Schelfhorst
on 5430 4560 or the Grassland Society on 5433 5324. The deadline for registrations is next Tuesday, 27 March.
It’s busy at Boort
The Boort Resource and Information Centre has a busy couple of weeks coming up, with several short courses ready to run.

Farm workers can learn about safe chemical use at a Farm Chemical Users course to be run on 28-30 March, to be followed up with a one-day refresher option on 3 April.

A workshop on 1 April will show participants how to make a scarf from superfine Merino wool and silk, while, on 4 April, groups will study Level 2 First Aid and how to deal with anaphylaxis (a severe and life-threatening allergic reaction).

To find out more about these courses, phone BRIC on 5455 2716.
Free computers on offer
Following on from our previous offer, Council still has a number of surplus desktop computers available free to community groups.

The machines contain the Windows operating system only, so any other programs required by their new owners will need to be purchased.

Interested groups should contact Michelle Hargreaves at the Council offices, PO Box 21, Wedderburn, 3518, or by email on mharg@loddon.vic.gov.au

If there are more requests than computers in hand, the distribution will be decided by ballot. The deadline for expressions of interest is 5pm on Friday 30 March.
Sale to aid hall
A Trash and Treasure sale and auction at Powlett Plains on Sunday (25 March) will raise funds for improvements at the local hall.

Starting at 9am, the sale will include such items as firewood, pea straw, pasture hay, furniture and corrugated iron. A cake stall, Devonshire teas and a barbecue will also be operating.

For more details, please phone hall committee president Alan Last on 0448 026 989.
Shire news goes online
Council has moved to make its news items and community announcements more accessible to Shire residents by initiating an online subscriber scheme.

If you want to stay informed about important meetings and events run by the Shire, or simply see this mayoral message each week, you can subscribe to the Loddon Shire website at no charge.

Choose what type of information you would like to receive, then, when new material is added, you will receive an email alert.

Full details appear in the latest Loddon Bulletin, which was distributed across the Shire last week. To join up, visit www.loddon.vic.gov.au and click on “subscribe” in the left-hand index. Subscribers can opt out at any time if they no longer wish to hear from us.
Stay safe on the roads
The recent spate of Victorian road fatalities reported in the media has been sad news indeed. Our thoughts are certainly with those families who have lost loved ones.

These tragic accidents are a stark reminder to all of us who use the roads to be constantly watchful of our own driving and aware of potential hazards. Whether we are in a B-double or on a bicycle, the onus is on each of us to take responsibility for our own safety and that of others.

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