Mayoral Column 17 February 2014

Published on 17 February 2014

Tell us how we’re doing

Residents of Loddon Shire have a once-a-year opportunity this month to have their say on how they think their local Council is performing.

The Local Government Services Survey – also known as the Community Satisfaction Survey – is currently under way in Loddon, with researchers contacting residents to seek their views on a wide range of performance indicators.

The survey, which is carried out under the auspices of the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure, seeks to assess both how councils are doing and ways they could improve.

Loddon Shire is one of 69 Victorian councils participating this year.

During February, independent market research agency National Field Services is conducting 400 interviews among a representative sample of residents.

All respondent details and individual responses are confidential and only overall results are shared with Council.

The questionnaire asks people to assess Council’s overall performance and direction, whether they’ve had contact with Council over the past 12 months, their rating of customer service, performance on a range of individual services and a number of other questions, including demographics.

Council greatly values receiving this information and uses the results to help shape its priorities for how it allocates its time, money and energies.

If you do receive a phone call, please take the time to contribute your honest and considered feedback.

Reserve gets a facelift

More good news arrived last week with the announcement that long-considered plans for significant work at the Laanecoorie foreshore reserve had been finalised.

The plans are the result of months of discussions between local residents, Council and government authorities, aimed at returning the area to recreational community use shared with controlled camping access.

Council has already done some work there, particularly around the boat ramp and surrounding gravel tracks.

Future works are expected to include extending walking trails, tree planting, new signs, improvements to the river bank, replacement of old bollards and fences, new day parking areas and the fencing of native conservation areas.

The reserve committee of management has also drawn up new rules about the expected behaviour of visitors on-site.

The final plan now goes to the state government while the committee looks at potential costs and funding sources.

There is $30,000 already set aside under the Laanecoorie Community Plan.

Special stories wanted

Do you know a woman in Loddon Shire who is a significant achiever in her business, personal or community life?

If so, here’s your chance to share her story.

The Loddon Bendigo Rural Women’s Network has embarked on a new project entitled “A Tribute to Rural Women”, which aims to capture such stories in words, photographs and video.

The stories selected will be published in a booklet and celebrated at an event in Bendigo later in the year.

The network has been supported by funding through the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal, Loddon Shire and the City of Greater Bendigo.

For more details, or to nominate someone, please phone Christine Coombes at Loddon Shire Council on 5494 1200 or email ccoombes@loddon.vic.gov.au

Families’ night out

The 20th annual Dingee Family Festival is on this Saturday (22 Feb.) at 6.30pm at Progress Park.

Organised and run by the Dingee Progress Association, the event features Wedderburn band “Avalanche”, a jumping castle, lolly scramble, face painting, gate prizes and the customary roast meal and salads.

Council has donated $400 to the festival under the latest round of its annual Events Sponsorship Scheme.

Dingee Progress Association treasurer Pam Plant said the committee was working towards having a crowd of around 200 people.

Entry costs $10 for adults, $5 students and $2 for children. All are welcome.

For more details, phone Pam on 5436 8209 or Wendy on 5436 8211.

Run, ride and swim

Boort Hockey Club’s annual reverse triathlon next Sunday (23 Feb.) offers a three-sided opportunity for participants – it helps the club, creates a social day out and allows entrants to test themselves over two course options.

Starting at 9am at the Boort swimming pool, the event welcomes entries from teams and individuals of all ages.

The short course involved a 700m run, 3.8km bike ride and 100m swim, while the longer option demands a 3.8km run, 7.6km ride and 200m swim.

Organiser Wendy Last said the day offered a “good country triathlon – very casual”.

“The local football and hockey teams sometimes program the event as part of their pre-season and we get a few people from outside Boort coming as well,” she said.

“It’s a major fundraiser for our club – this year, we hope to put in some shelving for our new club rooms and buy more sticks for the juniors.”

Entries cost from $5 to $15 and participants need to register by 8.45am.  For more details, phone Wendy on 0458 279 363 or Ros on 0428 543 202.