Mayoral Column 12 October 2015

Published on 12 October 2015

Guaranteed water supply in the pipeline

There’s a sense of growing optimism in our farming community following last week’s announcement of $1.15 million to support the development of a business plan for the proposed South-West Loddon Rural Water Supply Project.

I joined members of the farming community for the announcement held at VFF Wedderburn Branch President Graham Nesbit’s Glenalbyn property.  It’s wonderful to see the collaborative efforts of so many within our community really being rewarded for their cooperative approach.

Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water is confident that by Christmas they will have the design and costings completed. Once that is finalised, the community liaison committee will be able to talk directly to interested parties about how we move forward from there.

Whichever way we look at it, weather patterns are changing, and we’ve had a prolonged period of lower than average rainfall in the south-west corner of Loddon.

However, there’s literally water in the pipeline available for our black spot on the state’s supply grid.

News that a guaranteed, reliable, quality water supply is being seriously discussed is welcomed by all who live and work in our community. It also allows us to consider the other opportunities it will bring, from paving the way to attracting intensive animal industries, to sustainably caring for our recreational facilities and supporting the increasing number of people calling a lifestyle block home.

Work together to protect your community

A taste of the long hot summer ahead hit close to home earlier this week with wild, hot winds fanning fires in neighbouring municipalities.  While we were fortunate to escape any significant danger on this occasion, it serves as a timely reminder to prepare for what lies ahead.

It’s encouraging to see residents heeding recent warnings, planning for the coming hot dry conditions by slashing long grass, clearing their gutters and removing rubbish from their properties.

We will be conducting inspections shortly to identify properties that may pose a fire risk.

The fire danger period runs from late October through to the end of April.  Some things you can do to be fire ready include keeping grass mowed and removing other fuels like leaves and twigs, storing flammable liquids and woodpiles away from your home and keeping gutters clear of leaf litter.  I also encourage friends, family and neighbours to talk to each other about their fire plans and help each other out where possible.

Solar panel installation achieves emission reduction and cost savings

I’m happy to share the news that our Wedderburn office has achieved a significant reduction in greenhouse emission levels and cost savings following the installation of a 30 kilowatt solar system 12 months ago.

The system, installed last September following the presentation of a $40,000 state government grant issued through the Victorian Adaptation & Sustainability Partnership Program, was designed to reduce the amount of power used from the grid and in doing so, the CO2 emissions released into the atmosphere.

At the twelve month mark we have seen a 30 per cent reduction in Council’s use of power from the grid. This has resulted in a reduction of almost 32 tonnes of greenhouse emissions.

Grading program on track

Our municipal inspection and grading maintenance program, stretching across 3,800 kilometres of local access and gravel roadways, is travelling full steam ahead.

Our works are ahead of schedule with 34 percent of the program complete with 27 percent of the year gone.

On the capital works front, 18 kilometres of gravel road resheets have been completed with one kilometre remaining, and shoulder resheeting is also well ahead of schedule with 21 kilometres completed and just 5.6 kilometres left to go.

It’s expected that these remaining jobs will be completed within the next six weeks.

We’re also expecting to see The Mincha West Road reconstruction and upgrade starting next week.

I take this opportunity to remind motorists to take care and exercise patience when approaching road works.