Loddon Shire Mayoral Column 15 July 2019

Published on 15 July 2019

Annual Residents’ Satisfaction Survey 2019

The results of Council’s annual community satisfaction survey are in, which saw more than 400 residents provide their thoughts about a range of Council services.

Overall, satisfaction with Council’s performance increased, with an index score of 58, which is equal to the average for small rural councils. According to the survey, Council’s top five performing areas included waste services (weekly rubbish collection and fortnightly recycling collection), public swimming pools, playgrounds and parks and reserves.

One area particularly noted for improvement was financial management. This includes perceptions of rates being fair and reasonable, which had a relatively low performance among those surveyed. 

Council understands that rates are always going to be a contentious issue; however, Council continues to ensure that responsible financial management remains a key focus of its activities and in delivering services.

In terms of the recent adoption of Council’s 2019/20 budget, the 2.5 per cent average rates rise is in line with the State Government’s Fair Go Rates System capping level – which is set each year by the Minister for Local Government. 

According to an article published in the Herald Sun on 1 July 2019, Loddon Shire had the smallest average annual rates bill of all 79 councils across the state, at $1206 per household.

Having mentioned the above, it should be noted that around a third of Council’s income is from rates. With more than 100 services to deliver to the community, Council manages this responsibility by seeking grants wherever possible. 

Services that Council delivers include aged services, animal management, community support, disability access, economic development and tourism, early years services (such as Maternal and Child Health), parks and streetscapes, road maintenance, local laws, sporting reserves and more.

To read the 2019/20 budget, visit www.loddon.vic.gov.au/Our-documents/Financial-reports 

Expressions of interest for Bendigo industrial land

The City of Greater Bendigo is inviting landowners to participate in an expression of interest regarding the availability of potential land for industrial use as part of its draft industrial land development strategy. 

As a neighbouring Council, Loddon Shire has the potential to assist the City of Greater Bendigo in meeting this future demand for industrial land. This has the possibility to be of significant benefit to our Shire, including for economic growth in our area.

Expressions of interest is a voluntary process, and the City of Greater Bendigo wants to hear from landowners with land that meets a set of specific land criteria and who may be thinking about their property’s future use. The land criteria involves large blocks of land greater than 30 hectares within 15 kilometres of the city centre or greater than 100 hectares located further than 15 kilometres from the city centre.

To find out more, visit www.bendigo.vic.gov.au/Services/Strategic-Planning/Strategic-Planning-Projects/Industrial-Land-Development-Strategy 

Works update

It’s good to see the completion of the solar bollard lights in Pyramid Hill along Railway Avenue from the station through to Victoria Street. As well as addressing the previously poor lighting along the avenue, the new lights complement the footpath works that were completed in April this year. 

In other works news, the project to replace the Murphy Creek Bridge at Woodstock Road is expected to be finished by mid-August. Please note the bridge remains closed during these replacement works. 

Works for the construction and installation of culverts and crossings on Mologa Durham Ox Road, Hudson Lane and Connors Road Bridge are now complete. 

The stormwater drainage upgrade at Verdon Street in Inglewood is expected to be finished by the end of July, as will drainage works at Sugargum Drive in Bridgewater.

Footpath works are continuing with crews completing works at Wedderburn as well as starting works in Boort. 

During the 2018/19 financial year, 2121 kilometres of gravel roads and 974 kilometres of minor gravel roads were inspected and graded. 

Photo call for Loddon Valley Official Visitor Guide 

If you’re an amateur or professional photographer who has photos showcasing Loddon, then don’t miss your chance to share your images for the new edition of the Loddon Valley Official Visitor Guide. 

Photos for the visitor guide will capture experience-driven attractions throughout the Loddon Valley such as antiques and collectables, food and wine, farm gate tourism, history and heritage, nature and natural environment, water, and gold and events. 

If your photo is chosen you will be credited in the new edition of the Loddon Valley Official Visitor Guide and receive an invitation to the official launch celebration. A completed photo permission slip must accompany submissions capturing members of the public. 

For further information and to request the permission form, please call 5494 3789. Submissions can be sent to loddonvisitorinformation@loddon.vic.gov.au by Friday 19 July. 

Did you know?

Interest free loans are available to community organisations for capital improvements to facilities within the Shire. There is a total pool of $100,000 at any time. Applications are to be made in writing to the Chief Executive Officer and are put forward to Council for decision. 

More information and conditions can be found under Council’s Community Support Policy, which is available from www.loddon.vic.gov.au/Our-documents/Policies