Mayoral Column 11 August 2014

Published on 11 August 2014

History taken to the street

The colourful story of Boort and its surrounding farming settlements is now on display for all to see, with seven steel pillars erected around town late last month bearing historic photographs and descriptive captions. 

The four-sided pillars have been spread out between the Memorial Hall and the Arnolds’ butcher shop near the railway line.

Residents Honie Tweddle and Jennie Weaver, both members of the Boort Historical Society, drove the project and the installation work was carried out by a team of 10 local volunteer tradesmen over four days.

The 1.8m metal towers showcase photographs and text capturing relevant aspects of community life in and around Boort since its founding in 1871 – the first time the history of the town has been displayed in such a public way.

Mrs Tweddle said federal funding had been pivotal in seeing the project through to this stage.

“The historical society received $24,555 in funding from the federal government’s Your Community Heritage program and $10,000 through a community grant from Council,” she said.

“That money has enabled us to have seven towers made, but we have two more in mind to finish the set when we can.

“The general reaction so far has been great – people love them. You never go up the street without seeing someone standing there reading them.”

Green light for flood project

A recent visit to Bridgewater by Victorian Minister for Water Peter Walsh has brought some encouraging news for local residents.

Mr Walsh was there to announce funding for a $215,000 flood investigation project involving flood mapping and an assessment of mitigation options for the town.

“During the January 2011 flood, 177 homes and 16 businesses were inundated,” Mr Walsh said.

“This investigation will enhance our understanding of flood extents, depths, velocities and the potential impacts of flooding of the Loddon River at Bridgewater.”

The local community will be consulted throughout the project, which will be managed by North Central Catchment Management Authority with support from Loddon Shire Council.

The government is providing $187,050 for the project through the FloodZoom program, while the Commonwealth will contribute $27,950 through the Natural Disaster Resilience Grants Scheme.

Thanks are due to both governments for their ongoing support of the Shire. The magnificent financial backing Council received in the wake of the 2011 floods has continued since then through announcements such as this.

Artists, keep this in mind

The Loddon Healthy Minds Network is presenting an art exhibition in Loddon Shire to be held around Mental Health Week in October.

This year, the Network is focusing on what are called the “Five Ways to Wellbeing” – connect, be active, take notice, keep learning and give.

The competition is open to all Loddon Shire residents, but this time there are two categories – students aged 14-18 years and open.

Any medium can be used, but all work must have been completed within the last 12 months and solely by the artist and artwork size should be somewhere between A4 and one metre square.
Entry forms for students will be collected from the school at the same time as the artwork on Monday 8 September.

For entrants in the open section, forms can be collected from the Shire offices at Wedderburn or Serpentine, arranged by calling Kara on 5437 7999 or by going to

Entries in this category need to be completed and delivered to Council offices at either Wedderburn or Serpentine by the same date, 8 September.

Prizes will be presented at functions in the schools or towns represented by the artwork and the pieces will then be displayed locally.

Something to chew over

Wedderburn kindergarten took the bit between its teeth last week when Council’s Early Years co-ordinator, Alycia O’Sullivan, invited staff to do something different with the children for Dental Health Week.

The result was a banner display on the parents’ notice board and a special play space which included giant teeth and huge toothbrush, a brushing chart, drink bottle, dolls and a book about going to the dentist.

Dental Health Week, which ran last Monday to Friday (4-8 August), is a campaign run by the Australian Dental Association to focus on the oral health of babies and toddlers and educating new and expectant parents about the dangers of sweet snacks and hidden sugar in foods.
Tips on teething, oral hygiene and the first dental visit were also provided.

For more information, go to

Don’t miss this special night

A reminder that tickets are now on sale for Loddon Shire Council’s first-ever sports gala, planned for Wednesday 20 August at the Pyramid Hill Memorial Hall, starting at 6pm.

Special guest will be sportsman, media commentator and motivational speaker Max Walker.

Awards to be handed out on the night will honour Loddon’s top team, administrator, coach, club or organisation and high-achieving sportspersons.

Tickets cost $50 per person pre-paid, or $55 at the door, but bookings are essential. Patrons will enjoy a three-course meal, a complimentary drink with canapés on arrival and a program of entertainment.

To reserve your seat, please phone Christine Coombes on 5494 1200.

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