Mayoral Column 18 March 2019

Published on 18 March 2019

VicPol and VFF working together on farm thefts

In July last year I asked farmers and community members to be vigilant about crime in rural areas. This followed a number of thefts from farms and break-ins in some of our towns.

Unfortunately we have seen these farm thefts continue across Victoria. However, the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) and Victoria Police are working together to try and curtail these crimes.

The VFF in conjunction with Victoria Police held an information session last month (which I attended) regarding this farm crime. There were many interesting points that came up during this session, including plenty of information about what systems work in trying to deter farm crime as well as the pattern of crime behaviour.

Another important point raised was that Victoria Police have dedicated farm crime officers at a number of locations, including at Echuca and Swan Hill.

According to the VFF, the Livestock and Farm Crime Specialist Group includes a list of officers specifically trained in dealing with rural crime (also known as Agricultural Liaison Officers or AGLOs).  

It is good to know that Victoria Police (and the VFF) are very much aware of and working together on the issue of farm crime – an issue that causes great frustration for our farmers and our rural communities.

Remember, if you notice any suspicious activity please get in touch with Victoria Police. If you have any information relating to a farm theft (or break-in) please contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

Autumn firewood collection season

The Department of Enironment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has announced that the Autumn Firewood Collection Season for 2019 is now open until 30 June.

The Autumn Firewood Collection Season for residents of Loddon Shire opens today (18 March).

An interactive map showing where you can collect domestic firewood is available from www.ffm.vic.gov.au/firewood

DELWP is reminding people to ensure they stay within collection limits. This is a maximum of two cubic metres per person per day and a maximum of 16 cubic metres per household per financial year. The felling of any trees for firewood is strictly prohibited.

Collection is to be during daylight hours.

DELWP staff will be patrolling parks, forests and reserves to make sure people are doing the right thing while collecting their firewood. Infringement notices, fines or even imprisonment can apply to those who don’t obey firewood collection regulations.

It’s also important to check whether a firewood collection area is part of the autumn planned burning program. This may require affected firewood collection areas to be closed at short notice.

For more information on firewood collection visit www.ffm.vic.gov.au/firewood or call DELWP on 136 186. You can also call this number to report any information to DELWP about illegal or suspicious behaviour in public land areas.

Pyramid Hill Fiesta this Saturday

You’re invited to celebrate Pyramid Hill’s fantastic diversity at its annual fiesta this Saturday (23 March).

Held from 2pm to 8pm in the Kelly Park precinct, the Pyramid Hill Fiesta is a great opportunity to celebrate the town’s multicultural community.

Not only does the Pyramid Hill Fiesta celebrate our diversity, it also brings the community together to acknowledge and share cultural traditions.

The day will be packed with entertainment and activities showcasing Australian and Filipino cultures. There will also be music, dance, costumes, children’s activities, and of course, a great variety of delicious food and drinks.

There will be a welcome ceremony (with singing of both the Australian and Filipino national anthems), Filipino Santacruzan parade, “Tinikling” (a traditional Filipino dance) and workshop, talent pageant, arts competition and so much more.

Entry into the fiesta is just $5 for adults or $20 for a family.

To find out more visit www.facebook.com/pyramidhillfiesta2019/ or email  pyramidhillfiesta@gmail.com

Did you know?

Council staff are part of the newly-convened Loddon Campaspe Local Government Regional Settlement Network.The network recognises the importance of migrants to our regional and rural communities, including socially and economically.