Mayoral Column 17 November 2014

Published on 17 November 2014

Caption: Cr Gavan Holt accepts the Loddon gavel from Cr Neil Beattie after he was re-elected as Mayor for the 2014/2015 period.

Mayor Holt re-elected to lead Loddon

It was with great honour that I was re-elected as Mayor at the November Statutory Council Meeting last week in my home town of Wedderburn, in front of my friends, family and the greater Loddon community.

My fellow councillors bestowed upon me the great honour of being elected as Mayor for 2014/2015 period.

In making this decision, the Council has asked me to lead this great organisation and vibrant community for a further 12 months.

This is my sixth term as Mayor, so I know what I am in for.

I’m certainly grateful that Loddon has such a strong and committed team of councillors and staff to work with our local communities in bringing about positive and stimulating change.

Loddon’s seniors get festive

Here at Loddon, we recognise the value of providing residents with the opportunity to participate in a variety of events inside and outside the municipality boundaries.

Last month marked the seniors’ festival across the state.

The Shire participates annually in the event, providing its seniors with a number of trips and events inside and outside of the Loddon community over a three week period.

I was very proud to join one of the events with my fellow councillor Neil Beattie. We attended the gala day at Boort’s memorial hall, which featured the humorous production, Ada and Elsie.

We were thrilled to be accompanied by 133 local residents attending the event, with many taking advantage of our bus service which picked up residents from towns across Loddon to ensure the production was accessible for each and every senior community member in our municipality.

Over the three weeks, Council organised many events including a mystery trip to Rippon Lea House and Garden, one of Australia’s finest suburb estates and first to achieve a national heritage listing.

The Shire bussed residents to Castlemaine for a lovely lunch at the Cumberland Hotel, followed by music played by Sentimental Journey at Campbell’s Creek.

A trip to Melbourne saw locals join a guided tour of the Shrine of Remembrance, followed by a high tea at the Windsor Hotel.

A mystery trip was offered to visit the Eureka Stockade museum in Ballarat and eight residents and two carers within Loddon were privileged to receive an invitation to attend the Government House garden party.

In total, across the seven events, we had more than 260 attendances. Each Loddon community was well represented at all events.

I am always proud when Loddon Shire is able to provide fantastic opportunities to its communities.

I encourage all residents to take advantage of any future events within Loddon.

Communities benefit from hall restumping program

The Pyramid Hill Memorial Hall will undergo extensive restumping to ensure it is able to cater for community needs and service the town into the future.

A 10 year master plan was prepared by local committee members in 2010 with input from the community and assistance from Loddon Shire Council.

The restoration of the hall’s floor and stage was identified as a high priority and complements previous work done to upgrade the kitchen and toilet facilities.

The Pyramid Hill Hall Committee of Management requested assistance from the local progress association to garner support for the project.

The progress association, which oversees the local community plan, prioritised the project for funding and requested Council’s financial backing.

As a level one hall in the Shire, the Pyramid Hill hall is a priority for Council to maintain.

Council allocated $11,000 from the Community Planning Program with the remainder of the $50,000 project coming from the Building Asset Management budget.

The restoration works to the hall will ensure the community asset continues to provide a diversity of benefits for user groups and the broader community.

Works will bring new life to the hall, which will stand Pyramid Hill in good stead for many years.

Restumping works have been tagged for the end of this year and will be completed over the summer period.

Council, through the Terrick Ward community planning allocation, will also invest close to $9000 into the district, with work at the hall which houses the East Loddon Historical Society in Mitiamo. The research room at the back of the hall will undergo restumping early in the new year.

The Mitiamo works follow on from recently completed landscaping at the main intersection in town and irrigation system upgrades.

Financial boost for Loddon’s kindergartens

I am proud to hear that three of our Council kindergartens will receive a financial boost from the Small Rural Grants Initiative.

Wedderburn Preschool will receive the biggest grant, with $15,000, Inglewood Kindergarten, $8500, and Pyramid Hill Preschool, $7500.

The grant will be used to assist our kindergarten committees with the operational and administrative costs of delivering Loddon’s kindergarten programs.

The fund allocation is based on the number of kindergarten enrolments, with the smallest number of enrolments receiving the largest financial help.

Our thanks go to the government for its continued support of our busy children’s services here in Loddon.