Mayoral Column 2 November 2015

Published on 02 November 2015

Councillor Beattie positioned as next Mayor

I’m pleased to be able to share news that Councillor Neil Beattie was chosen as Mayor elect at last week’s Council meeting.

This means the Boort Ward Councillor is expected to be formally voted in as the next Mayor of Loddon Shire Council at a special meeting on Friday 20 November.

The meeting will be held at the Boort Park Sports Club in Malone Street, beginning at 7pm.

I welcome any interested community members to come along to the election meeting which will be followed by a light supper.

Councillor Beattie is well known to many within his ward and beyond, through business activities including the management of his dryland and irrigation farm, along with a trucking operation at Catumnal, west of Boort, and through his involvement in many community organisations.

He was first elected to Council in 2005, before being re-elected in 2008 and 2012.

A proud moment for Wedderburn

As you settle down with a coffee to read my column, take a moment to give yourself a pat on the back for helping bring Wedderburn to the national stage.

While Hamish and Andy’s “Race that Slows Down the Nation” has been run, the spin-off for our local community will continue its run.

This many people haven’t flocked to Wedderburn since the 1950s gold rush, and I congratulate our community for the way they rallied together to put our town’s best foot forward, as we shone under a publicity spotlight money simply couldn’t buy.

From businesses to services groups and a host of community volunteers, we pulled together to showcase Wedderburn and the community spirit which is a cornerstone of our country lifestyle, perhaps leading visitors to question whether our municipality is one they too would be happy to call home.

While Hamish and Andy’s visit may have future economic and tourism advantage for our region, more immediately I invite you to simply take a moment to reflect on a wonderful day out.

As Mayor, to get proceedings underway, I was able to join in the fanfare aboard a vintage tractor which formed part of the musical procession leading Hamish and Andy, their 50 “horses” and trainers towards Donaldson Park.

While Hamish and Andy hit the airwaves, the trotting track crowd was treated to world-class entertainment by Jessica Mauboy and Birds of Tokyo, one and two man horse suit races, a celebrity look-alike competition, market stalls and a wonderful picnic atmosphere courtesy of our fabulous catering committee.

Wedderburn, you did us proud, and I’m looking forward to seeing Hamish and Andy’s concrete hand and foot prints, which were cast outside Wedderburn Hotel on Sunday evening to commemorate the one of a kind event, taking pride of place within our town in the near future.

Fire danger period declared

It looks so much drier across the municipality than it did just a few short weeks ago, so it comes as little surprise that the CFA officially declared the beginning of the Loddon Shire fire restriction season last Friday.

The fire danger period runs from now through to April next year throughout our entire municipality.

In broad terms, this means residents throughout our Shire are unable to light a fire in the open air without an appropriate permit from Council or the CFA.

This doesn’t mean you’re unable to enjoy throwing a snag on the barby, it just means it’s a good time to vigilantly check any restrictions which may apply to that barbecue during the danger period.

A good source of information is the “Can I or Can’t I” brochure which is available at www.cfa.vic.gov.au.

I would encourage residents to familiarise themselves with this brochure to help prepare themselves for fire restrictions, including total fire ban days.

It’s good to get into the routine of checking the fire danger rating, which ranges from Low-Moderate to Code Red, each day.

This can be readily done by keeping an eye on media reports, logging into the CFA website or a Fire Ready app.

Ratings are forecast using Bureau of Meteorology data for up to four days in advance, based on weather and other environmental conditions.

To help safeguard yourself, your property and our community, it helps to know when conditions are dangerous enough to put your bushfire survival plan into action.

The rating is your prompt to take action to stay safe.