Mayoral Column 14 April 2014

Published on 14 April 2014

Cenotaph site transformed

The Boort Cenotaph will be looking an absolute picture by Anzac Day, after a seven-week, $52,000 Council project to improve the safety and amenity of the site.

In addition to the poor condition of the existing kerb and channel, the original slope of the land made crossing it difficult for some older residents, there were problems with drainage and the Mobile Library and post office reported issues with people having difficulty getting in and out.

After a series of meetings with community members and Boort RSL late last year, technical officer Dale Jackson, who has co-ordinated the project, produced sketches of possible works and conducted a survey to finalise the design.

After further work by Infrastructure Manager David Fry and Design Engineer Graeme Smith, the project was put to tender and later awarded to excavating and earthmoving contractor Danspec, from Echuca.

Work started in early March, involving levelling the site, kerb construction, asphalting and concreting and a new irrigation system.
Instant turf will be installed before Anzac Day by Council’s Parks and Gardens staff and trees and shrubs – probably poppies and rosemary – will be planted on-site at a later date.

Congratulations to all concerned on a wonderful job.

Call to young artists

Young people in Loddon Shire are invited to put their imaginations to work to help spread a message of improving mental health.

The Loddon Healthy Minds Network is presenting an art exhibition in October open to all Shire residents aged 14-18 years.

Timed to link in with Mental Health Week, the competition is taking the theme of “Five Ways to Wellbeing”, being “Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give”.
 
Normally run through local schools, the timeline requires artwork to be completed and ready for collection by Monday 8 September, with judging, launches and display dates to follow.

The Network, which is auspiced by Council, was formed in 2007 to actively pursue mental health issues as they relate to residents of the entire Loddon Shire.

In addition to the committee, there are Mental Health Support Groups in the Shire who provide information and raise issues of concern.
The committee then deals with these issues and seeks to have them resolved.

For further enquiries about the art competition, please phone Kara Mamouney-Brown on 5437 7999.

Steve takes top prize

Council Works Manager Steven Phillips has won a statewide award for excellence, announced late last month in Melbourne.

Steve was named Public Works Practitioner of the Year during the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (Victoria Division) conference held at The Hotel Windsor.

The two-day program featured a variety of speakers, a visit to the Treasury Buildings, practical solutions for delivery of projects and a mix of exhibitors promoting the latest products and services for the industry.

Steve has been a highly important member of Council’s management and leadership group.

Over the past 12 months, his achievements have included the successful delivery of Council’s mammoth flood infrastructure renewal program, implementing new road maintenance regimes, improving staff management, training and safety protocols and introducing new operational policies, procedures and governance tools.

Typically unassuming, Steve said he was “most surprised at my win”. 

“The past two years have been a tremendous team effort by both office and outdoor staff,” he said.

Sincere congratulations, Steve, on your well-deserved success.

Grants money on offer

Local sporting and community organisations have until Friday 2 May to stake their claim for a share of the $200,000 pool now available under Council’s annual Community Grants Scheme.

The idea is that such grants go towards projects which develop or improve existing community facilities, programs or equipment.

Over the past 14 years, Council has invested around $1.2 million in 603 projects worth, in total, $4.7 million.

The scheme funds projects on a 2:1 basis, with Council giving $2 for every $1 contributed by the applicant.

The most that can be applied for is $10,000, which requires a contribution of at least $5000 from the applicant, either cash or in-kind or both.

Last year, 38 grants were made, taking up almost the full allocation.

For further information, please phone Allan Stobaus on 5494 1200.

Charity Carnival rolls on

On Easter Monday, the remarkable Rheola Charity Carnival is back for the 144th time, bringing its regular mix of traditional games, country-style competitions, classic and vintage machinery and animal events.

To be held at the Rheola Hall and recreation reserve, the carnival raises funds for the Inglewood and Dunolly hospitals, the hall itself and Rheola Pioneers' Park.

The busy program will include woodchopping, sheep dog trials, clay target shooting, show jumping, Miss Rheola Carnival Girl, footraces, a quilting display, lucky envelopes, hoopla, spinning wheel and novelty events for all ages.

Small stationary engines will be displayed by the Wedderburn, Maryborough and Mt Alexander Clubs), while classic cars and utes will be on show and a vintage tractor pull will focus on pre-1954 machines.

Loddon Shire is a major supporter of the carnival each year, contributing $1,000 for advertising expenses under its Events Sponsorship Scheme.

Entry costs $6 for adults and children under 14 are free. For more information, phone event secretary Ann Leach on 5438 8280.