Loddon Shire Mayoral Column 7 March 2023

Published on 01 March 2023

Mayor-Dan Straub

Wedderburn Student Representative Council  

Last Tuesday, the Student Representative Council (SRC) from Wedderburn College attended, Wedderburn Council Chambers to listen to Cr Gavan Holt, Lincoln Fitzgerald (Chief Executive Officer, Loddon Shire Council) and myself speak about the importance of leadership and our journeys so far.

Following the presentations, I was pleased to present the 26 SRC members with their official badges, which symbolise their commitment to upholding the SRC values and dedication to serving the needs of their fellow students.

It was heartening to see the enthusiasm and sense of pride among the SRC members and their families during the ceremony.

This event was not only a celebration of the SRC achievements but also a recognition of their hard work.

Congratulations to all SRC members on this significant achievement.

Autumn Firewood Collection Season Open

Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFM) have announced that the Autumn firewood collection season has opened from 1 March 2023 to 30 June 2023. This means that woodcutting for personal use has been permitted in designated areas of the forest.

I encourage residents who plan to participate in woodcutting to follow the guidelines as illegal collection negatively affects forest health, wildlife habitat and public safety. These guidelines can be viewed https://www.vic.gov.au/collecting-firewood.


  • You can only collect trees or parts of trees that are already on the ground.
  • Don’t collect trees that are clearly hollow or more than half the tree is covered in moss or fungi.
  • Don’t take wood within 20m of any rivers, creeks, lakes or dams.
  • Take litter with you when you leave.
  • It is illegal to sell firewood you collect from collection areas.
  • There is no guarantee that firewood will be available for collection in the firewood collection area.

To find a firewood collection area please visit https://www.ffm.vic.gov.au/firewood/find-a-firewood-collection-area

Murray River Group of Councils Meeting

Last Friday, I attended the Murray River Group of Councils meeting in Echuca.

At the meeting, we discussed a range of issues and initiatives that are important to the region. Some of the key topics of discussion were AEMO VNI West update, Flood advocacy, Murray Darling Basin Community Committee and advocacy for Canberra.

AEMO VNI West is a proposed new high capacity electricity interconnector between Victoria and NSW. Communities and land owners have five weeks to comment on plans to build overhead power transmission lines through the shire. To learn more about the VNI West project click here https://aemo.com.au/initiatives/major-programs/vni-west/about-the-program

AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) will be hosting a number of community sessions:

In Person

  • Thursday 9 March
  • 9am-11am
  • Boort IGA – 96 Godfrey Street, Boort VIC 3537.
  • Friday 24 March
  • 3pm-5pm
  • Wedderburn - Outside Randall's Foodworks 15 Kerr Street, Wedderburn 
  • Saturday 25 March
  • 9am-12pm
  • Kerang - Atkinson Park, Kerang 


Come along to either sessions and speak to the team and learn more about the project.

Written submissions are due on or before 5 April 2023 and should be emailed to VNIWestRITT@aemo.com.au

Lap It Up

I recently attended the Boort Cups Day on Sunday 5th March which was huge success.

The event was a testament to the hard work and dedication of our local harness committee members and numerous volunteers.

Congratulations to Double Helix who took out The Honourable Peter Walsh Boort Trotters Cup and Pas Guarantee taking out the Cr Neil Beattie Family Boort Pacing Cup.

Events like these not only showcase talent of our local community, but also bring in visitors from outside the shire, boosting our local economy and supporting local businesses.

Congratulations to all the winners and participants and thank you to everyone who helped make this event a great success.

Last Tuesday's Council Meeting

Council has appointed a panel of 16 contractors for flood restoration works across Loddon Shire at its 28th February meeting.

Council appointed the Flood Restoration Works Panel following a publicly advertised tender process and evaluation by an assessment panel.

Officers have been inspecting Council’s essential infrastructure for flood impacts following the October 2022 flood event. A list of restoration works is being compiled with the process 95 per cent complete. According to current data, the list of items requiring repair are:

  • 117 culvert repairs or replacements
  • 56 floodway repairs
  • 1 bridge replacement
  • 273 km of gravel road re-sheets
  • 50 km of unsealed road shoulders to replace
  • 14.25 km of sealed road to be rebuilt

The panel of contractors will provide Council with an efficient and flexible way to engage the necessary contractor workforce to carry out the restoration works, under the Commonwealth Government’s Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

To read more outcomes please visit https://www.loddon.vic.gov.au/News-and-public-notices/Loddon-Shire-Council-Meeting-%E2%80%93-February-2023  


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