Loddon Shire Mayoral Column 9 May 2023

Published on 09 May 2023

Mayor-Dan Straub

AEMO Public Forum Review

Last Friday (5 May), Chris Earl – Managing Director Loddon Herald arranged a public forum to discuss the region’s role in the switch to renewable energy.

I would like to thank the industry experts and community leaders who formed the panel, including:

  • The Hon Peter Walsh, Leader of The Nationals and Member for Murray Plains
  • Nicola Falcon, AEMO Victorian Planning Group Manager
  • Professor Bruce Mountain, Director, Victoria Energy Policy Centre, Victoria University
  • Merryn York, AEMO Executive General Manager System Design
  • Kathryn Myers, farmer
  • Darren Edwards, Director, Victoria Energy Policy Centre

Your insights and expertise on the topics were invaluable and helped create an informative discussion. Your contributions to the forum were truly appreciated by all who attended and watched remotely.

I would like to thank everyone who attended and shared their thoughts and concerns on the AEMO VNI West project. Participation is essential in ensuring that the decision making progress is transparent and that the voices of our community are heard.

To view the recording of the public forum please visit Loddon Herald Facebook page

Ward boundary review for Loddon Shire

The Local Government Minister has requested a ward boundary review for Loddon Shire before the October 2024 Council elections. The review will consider if the Council has an appropriate number of councillors and if it should be one large unsubdivided area or subdivided into wards. They also consider research/analysis, voter growth or decline over time and public submissions. A total of 39 local councils must have their electoral structure reviewed, and residents can have their say. The reviews will be conducted in three rounds within the next 18 months.

To find out more visit the Victorian Electoral Commission https://www.vec.vic.gov.au/electoral-boundaries/council-reviews/electoral-structure-reviews

Another great weekend of local sport

Great to see Nullawil Football Netball Club join the North Central Football League, already securing a strong win for the season.

In the Loddon Valley Football League, Inglewood Woodies Seniors and Reserves had a win over the Maiden Gully Eagles. Congratulations, also to the Bridgewater netballers 17&U, 15&U and 13&U who took out the win against Pyramid Hill last weekend.

I’d like to recognise and thank all those behind the scenes who put in many volunteer hours to ensure our local competitions continue to thrive. It is great to see the community coming together to support local sport and enjoy the start of autumn activities.

Having mentioned behind the scenes work, I’d also like to congratulate those behind the Active Farmers ‘Run for Resilience’ which occurred in Bridgewater last Sunday (7 May).

Over 300 participants were registered for the Fittys 5km, 10km or 21km trails along the Loddon River and the beautiful surrounds of Bridgewater. There was live music on the day from Cam Last, Ambulance Victoria teaching CPR and great food for everyone.

Loddon’s oldest family business celebrates 100 years

Congratulations to Inglewood’s FP Nevins and Co for reaching the impressive milestone of 100 years in operation on 1 April. Over the past century, FP Nevins and Co have been an integral part of our local economy providing jobs and opportunities for countless individuals and families.

Thank you for being an important part of the community and wish you all the success in the future.

Council Meeting outcomes

Council has resolved to seek feedback from the community on its draft 2023/24 Budget after consideration of the document at the April Council meeting.

The Loddon Shire Council draft 2023/24 Budget sees continuation of a strong cash position, with no new borrowings. It includes a commitment to the Community Planning program, as well as projects and initiatives included in Council’s various strategic plans. 

The draft budget includes a rate increase of 3.5% – in line with the Victorian Government’s Rate Capping Policy.

The draft budget allocates a capital expenditure program of $10.73 million, which includes $5.53 million towards roads, $1.33 million for parks and streetscapes, and $750,000 for recreational, leisure and community facilities. 

Additionally, the draft budget includes a $200,000 allocation for works associated with the Building Asset Management Plan and full funding of Council’s ongoing commitment to community planning of $750,000.

Waste service charges will increase by 3% per collection item, offsetting increases in the cost of kerbside waste and recycling disposal along with new licencing requirements. The cost of a 140-litre bin will increase to $401 (from $389) and a 240-litre bin to $545 (from $529). The cost for a 240-litre kerbside recycling bin will increase to $151 (from $147).

As the draft budget was developed during the recovery period of the 2022 major flooding events, the budget may change to respond to future flood relief and recovery efforts.

Together with the draft 2023/24 Budget, Council is also seeking community feedback on a draft Fees and Charges Schedule for 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2024.

Feedback is open until 5pm Friday 19 May 2023.

Council will meet to consider feedback to the draft documents at the Council Forum on Tuesday 6 June 2023. It will then consider adoption of the Budget and Fees and Charges Schedule at its Council meeting on Tuesday 27 June 2023.

The draft Budget is available on Council’s website at https://www.loddon.vic.gov.au/Our-Council/Financial-reports

The documents may be inspected at Council’s Wedderburn office during business hours or can be posted out on request by calling Council’s Customer Service staff on (03) 5494 1200.

At the meeting, Council also resolved to:

  • Grant a planning permit to develop land in Sullivan Street Inglewood for four dwellings and a four-lot subdivision.
  • Adopt a reviewed Community Support Policy.
  • Adopt a reviewed Procurement Policy.
  • Receive and note the Finance Report for the quarter ending 31 March 2023.
  • Formally recognise Boort Tourism and Development Inc., and Yarrawalla Community Planning Committee Inc. as the Community Planning Committees for their respective communities.

Additionally, through a Notice of Motion submitted by myself, Council resolved to submit to the Select Committee Inquiry into Victoria’s Recreation Native Bird Hunting Arrangement outlining the positive economic impact duck hunting has upon the local community; the positive mental health impact of this activity for many people in our community; and that duck hunting is a long-standing tradition for many families within our Shire and visitors to our Shire.

To view the Council agenda and minutes visit www.loddon.vic.gov.au/Our-Council/Agendas-and-minutes/Agendas-and-minutes-2023

The recording of the meeting is available via Council’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/LoddonShire

The next Council meeting will be held on Tuesday 23 May in the Loddon Shire Council Chambers, located behind the Wedderburn Council Offices (off Peters Street). The meeting will also be streamed on Council’s Facebook page.

The Victorian Government wants to hear your voice on hooning in our area!

Do you have something to say about hooning in your local area?

The Department of Transport and Planning is hosting an online community meeting on Tuesday 23 May 2023 from 6pm to 8pm to understand local concerns about hooning in the Loddon Mallee region.

Feedback from the meeting will be used to inform the Department’s future approach to tackling hooning – or intentional high-risk driving – across Victoria.

The Department wants to hear from local voices to understand real-life experiences and ensure that local views are captured.

This session will focus on what’s happening in the Loddon Mallee region and what the community would like to see done to address hooning.

The meeting is open to all, but availability is limited and booking is required – so get in quick to secure your place!

To find out more and register to attend, visit the event page.




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