MAYORAL COLUMN 5 December 2016

Published on 05 December 2016

Patience will pay dividends for road network

I understand some residents may be feeling frustrated at what feels like band aid repair measures following the September and October flooding events.

“Why can’t Council fix the damage properly in the first instance?” could be a question you ask yourself as you travel over temporary safety measure work and wind your way around another road safety warning sign.

But a small delay in having the job properly repaired may be just the thing which leads to us having better roads in the long run.

Council has completed the vast majority of work required to make your journey safe, but now has to wait for an anticipated $10 million in flood restoration funding to flow through.

If our crews move beyond the scope of emergency response measures, they could potentially jeopardise an additional source of funding Council should qualify for under the flood restoration program – all the while eating into the annual road maintenance budget.

Council’s Director Operations anticipates the additional pool of flood recovery money will be delivered ready for full repair work to begin within the first quarter of 2017.

Please continue to exercise patience, especially over the Christmas / New Year period.

In the meantime, Council crews will continue to assess road damage which has directly or indirectly been caused by the flooding events, ahead of delivery of the multi-million dollar flood restoration package which will reward our community for its patience.

New system frees up time for proactive work

Outdoor road network maintenance crews are completing scheduled repair work earlier than anticipated, freeing up time for proactive preventive work to keep our road network in good condition, thanks to a new system recording and distributing jobs.

The new Reflect Maintenance System frees up labour time by utilising tablets and the internet to record and distribute jobs.

Figures compiled through the system show that the average repair time over the last 5 years from lodgement to completion was 61 days, compared to just 25 days since the introduction of a new road inspection and maintenance management system at the start of the year. 

That roughly equates to a 40 per cent improvement in turnaround response times which has allowed extra time for unscheduled preventative work.

The figures also highlight the large amount of unscheduled work being carried out.

A report tended to Council’s November meeting showed that between the start of July and the end of September, 460 unscheduled road maintenance jobs were carried out across the municipality, exceeding the 403 scheduled works that were completed.

During the same period, work crews also inspected and graded as required 618 kilometres of the Shire’s 2,500 kilometre gravel road network, that equates to having treated almost a quarter of the gravel road network within the space of three months.

This time-efficient system reduces paper handling and delivers better value to the ratepayer, as more time is available for work crews to tend to road maintenance issues before they become a problem.

Clearly, Council’s road maintenance crews are getting more work done with the same resources and that’s good news all around.

Taking a stand against family violence

If you pop into our Wedderburn or Serpentine offices sometime today (Tuesday 6 December) you’re likely to be greeted by someone wearing a splash of orange.

Council is participating in the second Victoria Against Violence #16 days of Activism Campaign, with staff set to wear something orange for the day and coming together for a shared “orange” morning tea.

There’s no place for family violence in our community and throughout the 16 day campaign, which runs through to Friday (10 December), staff and community members are encouraged to show their support for the cause by wearing an orange ribbon.

Your chance to strike it lucky in Loddon

Loddon Shire’s popular gold nugget draw is back in a bid to find out more about where the tourists who visit us travel from.

The annual competition offers a chance for visitors to strike it lucky in the gold stakes, while providing an opportunity for our tourism team to gather valuable information to guide future marketing campaigns.

To be in the running to win a genuine gold nugget all you have to do is visit the Shire, complete an entry form and pop it into a draw box.

Entry forms will be available from early December until the end of January, with the winner to be announced on 15 February at the Loddon Visitor Information Centre.

Competition boxes and entry forms can be found at tourist information stands located in Boort, Bridgewater, Dingee, Inglewood, Mitiamo, Newbridge, Pyramid Hill, Serpentine, Tarnagulla and Wedderburn.

Whether you have friends and family visiting for a day or more during the competition period, don’t let them leave before popping their entry in the draw!

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