Mayoral Column 13 January 2014

Published on 13 January 2014

Land review moves on

The Shire’s long-running – but highly significant – Rural Zones Review takes another step forward soon.

The review’s proposals were formally approved by the Victorian Minister for Planning in December and informal letters advising affected property owners of developments were posted out before Christmas.

More formal letters are now being prepared and notice will be inserted in the Victoria Government Gazette in the near future.

Once that notice appears, landowners have 30 days to lodge further objections.

The journey has been a lengthy one for Council, beginning with a first look at the draft proposals in September 2010.

Since then, a robust consultation process has included two well-attended public meetings, hundreds of letters exchanged, plenty of publicity and meetings with interested parties.

It’s been a long haul for Councillors and Council staff, but the ultimate aims, we believe, are eminently worthwhile – to support agriculture, develop more appropriate land use and create opportunities for our population to grow.

In essence, the review took a thorough look at how the Farming Zone label had been applied across the municipality and recommended, among other things, introducing Rural Living Zones and Rural Conservation Zones in various areas, rezoning some land, changing the minimum subdivision size and putting in new policies for subdividing and building in the Farming Zone.

My hope is that this next stage of the process flows through smoothly and that the Rural Zones Review soon starts to demonstrate the benefits we believe it promises to deliver.

Day of reflection

Following on from last week’s report on the list of Loddon’s Australia Day Ambassadors, details have now been released on when and where the Shire’s national day ceremonies will be held on 26 January.

The “early birds” will be at Sloans Park in Bridgewater or at the Eddington Community Centre at 8am for a barbecue breakfast, with Mitiamo following suit at 8.30am at Phelans Reserve.

Boort is next at 9.15am with a morning tea at Nolens Park, while the ceremony at Tarnagulla’s Soldiers Memorial Park at 10.30am will be followed by a barbecue lunch.

Inglewood will host its formalities at 11am at the swimming pool, combined with a barbecue, while Newbridge residents meet at the hall at 11.15am before a light lunch.

Opting for later in the day, Wedderburn’s observance is planned for 5pm at Jacka Park and Pyramid Hill is at the hall at 6.30pm, both followed by a barbecue tea.

Please plan to join with your local community in congratulating our Shire’s Australia Day award winners and celebrating this iconic day together.

Rates queries answered

Council is in the process of preparing courtesy letters to help residents with any queries they may have about their latest rates notices.

People choosing to pay their rates in full have until 17 February, but Council is encouraging anyone with questions about exemptions to their Fire Services Property Levy or municipal charge to get in touch before then.

Applications for exemptions from the levy and municipal charge can be considered for single farm enterprises which own more than one farming property.

For help with any rates matter, please call Julie on 5494 1200.

List your event

Event organisers, now is the time to be clarifying details of your plans if you would like to be included in the next edition of Loddon Shire’s popular Calendar of Events brochure.

Council’s Tourism Department is compiling its listing of events around the municipality planned between 1 July 2014 and 30 June 2015.

The deadline is Friday 7 March. For more information, or to submit your entry, please phone Pauline Brown on 5494 1257 or email pbrown@loddon.vic.gov.au