Mayoral Column 16 June 2014

Published on 16 June 2014

CAPTION for supplied picture: The new Loddon Visitor Information Centre in Wedderburn offers Shire residents and tourists alike expert guidance on all there is to see and do.

Bright new centre taking shape

The major redevelopment at the Wedderburn Community Centre is well on track, with staff and visitors greatly enjoying the attractive new extension.

The $1.75 million project will see the completion of a new Maternal and Child Health centre, visiting allied health medical consulting rooms, a new Loddon Visitor Information Centre and a renovated Wedderburn Neighbourhood House.

Much has already been accomplished, with demolition of the internal components of the old building and new under-floor plumbing work both completed.

New timber framing has been done, along with the necessary electrical and plumbing fittings, and a new communications cupboard added, with all existing phone and data services restored.

The former vaulted ceiling has been repaired and preliminary work for mechanical services is now finished.

In terms of what’s to come, work is continuing on the internal joinery, plastering, installing phone and data services to the old building, fitting new roof insulation, preparing for painting and planning for a new photovoltaic system.

The decision has been taken to replace the floor and substructure – a necessary move which has prompted a review of how the kitchen is laid out.

A landscape architect has also been appointed to liaise with the steering group in finalising the surrounding landscaping.

It’s exciting to watch such a valuable community asset taking shape – call in to the new Visitor Centre and see for yourself!

Vale works going ahead

Council’s outdoor staff are continuing their efforts to complete the planned beautification works in Allen St and Borella Park in Korong Vale.

Tasks completed so far include landscaping at the hall, tree-planting, tidying up the northern entry and removing the former workshops and concrete on the railway land on the western side of Allen St.

Works at Borella Park to date have seen increased power to the site, a new barbecue installed, tidying of garden beds and the pruning of sugar gums on Vernon St.

Currently in train are concreting around the barbecue and basketball ring, reinstating the park’s irrigation system, installing a swing set and the planting of garden beds, established trees and summer grass cover.

Manager Community Planning Tim Jenkyn said funding for the project came through Community Planning budgets ($31,000) and flood recovery ($5,000).

“The first allocations of money were made in 2011, but works were held up with the flood,” Tim said.

“As was the case on many projects, Council’s focus turned to rebuilds elsewhere.

“Of the original amount, we have close to $20,000 remaining to complete the items, a task which our Parks and Gardens team is currently undertaking.”

Here’s where to stay

A smart new brochure detailing all the accommodation options for visitors to Loddon Shire is about to be distributed.

Businesses included on the leaflet range from camping parks to hotels, farm stays and self-contained accommodation providers.

The brochure will soon be available at Loddon Visitor Information Centre, on tourist stands and on the Council website.

Lessons from lunch

Children in two of Council’s kindergartens have been learning a few facts on healthy eating this month.

At Dingee, Bethany Takakis, from Inglewood & Districts Health Service’s Smiles for Miles program, and dietitian Stephanie Xie spoke with parents about healthy choices for snacks and lunch boxes.

After their presentation, the visitors helped parents prepare a wholesome lunch and left the kindergarten with printed information from Nutrition Australia.

At Wedderburn, the children were taken to the local supermarket last week for a practical lesson on good food choices.

Now hear this

Free hearing screenings will be offered in Wedderburn and Bridgewater this week courtesy of the Wimmera Hearing Society.

This service, supported by Commonwealth Government funding, has been conducting these visits for the past 30 years and now caters to the whole of western Victoria.

The society’s visit is planned for this Wednesday (18 June) – from noon till 2pm at Jacka Park in Wedderburn, then from 2.30pm to 4pm in Lyndhurst St, Bridgewater.

There’s no need to book – simply call in. For further enquiries, please call the Wimmera Hearing Society on 5382 7501 or 0417 342 850.

Business tips are free

Looking to start a small business or want some help developing the one you have?

The Victorian Government’s Small Business Bus is coming to Inglewood this month to offer free mentoring, information on Small Business Victoria’s services and time-saving tools and tips.  

Last year, the vehicle visited more than 103 towns and suburbs across Victoria and its mentors delivered more than 745 sessions to small business owners.

The Small Business Bus will be located outside Sharps Bazaar in Brooke St on Tuesday 24 June from 10am to 4pm.

Bookings are essential for mentoring sessions, so reserve your place at www.business.vic.gov.au/sbb or call the Victorian Business Line on 13 22 15.