Mayoral Column 17 August 2015

Published on 17 August 2015

We won’t be disheartened

While Loddon Shire Council residents may have topped the poll for those most at risk of having a heart attack, it is nothing to be disheartened by.

The Heart Foundation of Victoria has launched a heart attack map fact sheet, which revealed that the rate of heart attack for those living in the boundaries of Loddon Shire is 54.2% higher than expected, even after allowing for the age profile of our community.

Loddon Shire Council has been proactive in providing opportunities for residents to improve their health, and driving healthy lifestyles will be the focus for the future.

Loddon’s Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan has identified key priorities. We want to increase physical activity, and reduce smoking rates and alcohol consumption.

The Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan is undergoing its mid-term review to determine if the current priorities are still relevant and how Council can work collaboratively with local health services and other agencies to deliver them.

In the last 12 months alone, we have adopted our Recreation Strategy, delivered much of our Tracks and Trails Strategy, given $13,800 for active and healthy events in our municipality, provided sporting associations with $106,871 and invested $2.24 million in capital works projects aimed at improving our netball courts, pools, recreation reserves and parks.

With significant help from the state government, we have allocated $1.2 million to the construction of new change rooms and the refurbishment of the club rooms at the Serpentine Recreation Reserve.

Loddon Shire also has a natural environment and outdoor activities to offer, including our national parks and the Loddon River, and Council has invested a significant amount into our tracks and trails to improve signage and participation over the last 12 months.

We cannot side step the fact that we have an issue that we need to address.

Loddon Shire is deeply concerned by these statistics, and we need the help of those living within our municipality to take charge.

The fact is, 80% of heart disease is preventable, and risk factors are predominately lifestyle related, such as smoking, an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, lower socio-economic status and lifestyle behaviours.

It is concerning that the data in the fact sheet has shown that Loddon Shire’s heart disease rates are consistently worse than the state average.

Council is committed to working with health care providers to try and improve the general health and wellbeing of our community.

Provide feedback for your town

Residents are being asked to provide their feedback now that initial concept designs for the About Town streetscape improvement project have been released.

The planning project focuses on improvements to key areas of Bridgewater, Boort, Inglewood and Pyramid Hill, including town entries and the central business area.

Hundreds of people contributed to the consultation in the months leading up to the concept plans being released.

The plans will be on display until 28 August and can be found at www.abouttown.org.

Outlines Landscape Architecture will use the feedback provided from residents to create more refined designs over the coming months.

The plans are on display and feedback forms are available in the four towns: on the community noticeboard in Bridgewater, the supermarket window at Pyramid Hill, and shop windows in Inglewood and Boort. Forms are also available at the local community centres and post offices.

For more information, contact Loddon Shire Council on 5494 1200.