Mayoral Column 16 January 2017

Published on 16 January 2017

Plans afoot to stamp out mosquitos

The impact of the 2016 flooding events continues to flow through Loddon, with the municipality facing a significantly higher risk of mosquito borne health risks with the creation of prime breeding grounds.

While early indications of a return to more typical rainfall patterns has been welcomed by our farming community reaping bumper crops over recent weeks, wet conditions following the floods resulted in a significant rise in mosquito numbers.

In recent weeks residents may have noticed a drop in mosquito numbers, however presently there is a higher risk of mosquitos carrying diseases that impact negatively on human health.

Loddon Shire has been named one of 16 higher risk and flood affected rural Victorian Councils to benefit from a special State Government package designed to give the “Beat the Bite” campaign real clout.

Last week Council’s senior public health officer attended a seminar to equip Council with information to help move towards protecting the community from diseases such as Ross River virus, Barmah Forest virus, and Murray Valley Encephalitis.

Planned action to follow in the coming months includes mosquito management activities such as treating larvae in the water to reduce future populations and increasing community awareness through identifying high risk areas in townships and sharing information through the media.

In the meantime, on an individual level there are many things we can do to help protect ourselves and our families from mosquito bites.

These include wearing long loose fitting clothing, using effective mosquito repellents containing DEET or picaridin on exposed skin, using  indoor ‘knockdown sprays’ or vaporising devices for living areas including caravans, installing flywire screens and removing stagnant water from flower pots, tyres, buckets, tins, bird baths and pet bowls.

Limiting outdoor activity at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active is also advisable.

If you have any concerns about your health talk to your doctor or phone nurse on call on 1300 606 024.

Hard waste collection encourages clean up

Council’s hard waste collection dates are always well received and residents are encouraged to diarise scheduled dates in March.

Hard waste collection dates provide an opportunity for residents to place unwanted items such as whitegoods and old bed frames out on the nature strip to be collected and removed by Council.

Items are to be sorted into piles of grouped materials such as metal, recyclables and white goods.

The total volume of goods to be placed on the nature strip on the designated date, and not before, is not to exceed one cubic metre. Excessive or unsorted piles will not be collected.

Residents are asked to note that perishables, tyres, oils, batteries, paints and chemicals, car parts, mattresses, televisions, computers and monitors and garbage will not be picked up.

Residents of Boort, Pyramid Hill, Mitiamo, Dingee, Serpentine, Borung, Wychitella, Korong Vale, Wedderburn, Inglewood, Bridgewater, Newbridge, Tarnagulla, Laanecoorie and Eddington are encouraged to place unwanted hard goods on the natures strip on Sunday 5 March, ready for removal from Monday 6 March.

On Sunday 5 March residents in the Logan area may deposit hard waste at a collection point located on the Logan Kingower Road opposite the Avoca Forest Hotel and Fenton’s Creek residents may leave hard waste at a collection point located adjacent to the Fenton’s Creek Hall. Collection and removal of this hard waste is also scheduled to commence on Monday 6 March.

Any unsuitable items left behind after collection must be removed by residents from the nature strip immediately. We thank you for your cooperation in this collective effort towards tidying up our homes and communities.

How can we free Loddon of family violence?

Organisations working to free Loddon Shire of family violence may be eligible for a grant through The Community Partnerships for Primary Prevention state government grants program.

Applications are now open for the program which aims to support individual organisations and groups who together are building an alliance which seeks to prevent family violence at a grass roots level.

Grants of up to $50,000 will be awarded to successful individual organisations who apply for support through the grants program.

Up to $150,000 is available for new or existing partnerships between community groups, business institutions, educational settings and community organisations seeking to form a strategic partnership to help prevent family violence from happening in the first place.

Applications close on Wednesday 15 February.

For more information visit http://www.vic.gov.au/women/family-violence-prevention/community-partnerships-for-primary-prevention-grants.html