Mayoral Column 18 December 2017

Published on 18 December 2017

Know your Neighbourhood Safer Place

With the Fire Danger Period declared and the weather heating up as we continue into summer, it’s important that our community plan and prepare for fire. This includes knowing the location of your Neighbourhood Safer Place (NSP).

NSPs are places of last resort when personal bushfire survival plans cannot be implemented or have failed. They are not community fire refuges or emergency relief centres. They do not replace any planning you have in place to respond to a fire nor a response to emergency alerts – including evacuation warnings.

It is important that all residents understand that in the event of a bushfire or grassfire it is imperative that you leave early. NSPs are places of relative safety – they do not guarantee the survival of people who assemble there.

Neighbourhood Safer Places are located at:
• Boort – Recreation Reserve (oval only)
• Pyramid Hill – Mitchell Park Recreation Reserve (oval only)
• Serpentine – Recreation Reserve (oval only)
• Bridgewater – Memorial Hall (grounds only)
• Inglewood – J Sloan Park Playground (between the swimming pool and tennis courts)
• Wedderburn – Donaldson Park (oval area only)

I urge our community to visit the CFA website to find out more information regarding NSPs at www.cfa.vic.gov.au/plan-prepare/neighbourhood-safer-places/

Information regarding Loddon Shire Council and emergency management can be found at Council’s website at www.loddon.vic.gov.au/Live/Emergencies/Emergency-management

Visitor Information Centre volunteers thanks

It was fantastic to attend the combined Loddon Visitor Information Centre and Wedderburn Community House Christmas Party last Monday (11 December) to thank the wonderful volunteers.

Wedderburn Community House front desk volunteers assist the Loddon Visitor Information Centre Monday to Friday while Loddon Shire Council staff are on lunch breaks or in meetings.

These volunteers also staff the centre on Sundays and public holidays.

These volunteers provide a valuable contribution to the Loddon Visitor Information Centre. Without their assistance Council would not be able to provide a service for visitors exploring our region.

It was also a great honour to present four volunteers with awards recognising their 10 years of service to the Loddon Visitor Information Centre – Margaret Matthews, Glenda Hunter, Margaret Collins and Robbie Collins.

At the end of the 2016/17 financial year Loddon Shire staff and volunteers assisted 5,303 visitors who walked into the Loddon Visitor Information Centre.

Put your farming future in your hands

Plan2Farm is a project that provides personalised specialist advice and support to help farmers develop a strategy for their whole farming enterprise. By understanding their farm vision, farmers will be better equipped to make good informed decisions encompassing all aspects of their business.

The project involves an independent and suitably skilled person sitting down with the farming family to complete a Workbook, answering questions about the whole farming enterprise to determine key actions those farmers need to take to achieve their vision for the farm. Farming businesses will then be supported to implement these actions for up to three years.

All costs for completing the Workbook (including the development of an action plan) are covered by the project. Implementing the actions will be at the cost of the farming businesses.

Funded by the Victorian Government to support the delivery of the project, it is estimated that 600 farmers/families will directly participate in Plan2Farm. The project is being rolled out across the Goulburn Murray Water regulated area with farmers within the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District strongly encouraged to apply.

To find out more and for links to register your interest visit www.nccma.vic.gov.au/projects/agriculture or contact Shari Rankin at the North Central CMA on 5440 1885 or email shari.rankin@nccma.vic.gov.au

Merry Christmas!

Finally, as this is my last Mayoral Column for this year, I would just like to wish all of our residents a very Merry Christmas and a happy and safe New Year.

I’d also just like to remind our community that the Wedderburn and Serpentine Council offices will close for the afternoon this Thursday 21 December (from noon). Offices will then be closed from midday Friday 22 December for the Christmas/New Year period and will reopen at 8.15am on Tuesday 2 January 2018.

The Loddon Visitor Information Centre will be closed on Christmas Day, but is otherwise open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm and from 10am to 4pm on Sundays and public holidays.

The Community Services Department will be closed from noon Friday 22 December and reopen at 8.15am on Tuesday 2 January 2017. Limited personal care will be provided and clients will be advised of their personal care services for this period. There will be limited Meals on Wheels provided and clients will be contacted to arrange meals for this period. No home care, respite care or property maintenance services will be offered during this period. Client service emergencies are to be directed to After Hours on 0427 804 736.

Kerbside collections scheduled for Christmas Day (Monday 25 December) will instead take place on Saturday 23 December. Collections for New Year’s Day (Monday 1 January 2018) will take place on Saturday 30 December. Boort and Pyramid Hill Landfills will be closed on Tuesday 26 December 2017.