Mayoral Column 21 May 2018

Published on 21 May 2018

What are your thoughts about volunteering?

Volunteers are an integral part of our Shire and volunteering is readily embraced by many of our local residents. This is shown by the higher than average rate of volunteering in Loddon Shire in comparison to the Victorian state average.

In recognising our volunteers, Council is currently developing a Volunteer Strategy, which will look at supporting and encouraging volunteering in our Shire. To help with this strategy, Council wants your thoughts about volunteering via a short survey.

The survey, which closes on 12 June, asks about the type of volunteer activities, reasons for volunteering as well as its benefits and training for volunteers.

The survey also asks about informal volunteering (providing unpaid help directly to people – not through a group or organisation), non-volunteering and ideas to improve the rate of volunteering into the future.

Community workshops will also be held on 24 and 25 May, where residents can further provide their thoughts and ideas on volunteering in our Shire.

The first series of workshops will be on Thursday 24 May at Wedderburn Community Centre (9am to 10.30am), Serpentine Council Chambers (11.30am to 1pm), Inglewood Town Hall Hub (2pm to 4pm) and Tarnagulla Hall (6pm to 8pm).

On Friday 25 May, workshops will be held at the Pyramid Hill Senior Citizens Centre from 10am to 12pm and Boort Resource and Information Centre (BRIC) from 2pm to 4pm.

Feedback from the surveys and workshops will be incorporated into the draft Volunteer Strategy. It is anticipated this draft strategy will go to November’s Ordinary Meeting of Council for consideration to release it for public comment.

To find out more about the Volunteer Strategy visit Council’s website www.loddon.vic.gov.au

Your feedback needed about public open spaces

What public open spaces do you use around Loddon Shire when it comes to recreation? How could these spaces be improved for you to use them more often or encourage other residents to use them?

Council wants your thoughts on these questions and more regarding public open spaces used for recreation. Public open spaces include parks, playgrounds, bushland, cycling and walking paths, rivers and lakes, and shopping areas/streets.

To have your say, please complete a copy of the community survey by Monday 11 June. The survey can be found online at www.surveymonkey.com/r/activeloddon or hard copies are available at the Shire offices in Wedderburn and Serpentine. 

Listening posts are also being planned, which will be held at various towns around the Shire. Details regarding these listening posts will be advertised in the near future.

For more information contact Carmel Pethick at Council on 5494 1253. 

MAV State Council and Rural Councils Victoria Rural Summit

Last week I attended the Rural Summit for Rural Councils Victoria with Councillor Gavan Holt, Councillor Geoff Curnow and Council’s Chief Executive Officer Phil Pinyon.

The theme of the summit was “Rural Liveability: Victoria’s Backyard” a subject obviously close to the heart of many rural councils, including Loddon Shire Council. In fact, Liveability is a strategic theme within the Loddon Shire Council Plan.

Subjects included the future of liveability in regional Victoria (and how we see it), lifestyle opportunity factors in rural communities, and the role of government and private industries providing community support through transport and infrastructure. Speakers also discussed the diverse challenges in rural environments (and supporting and attracting families and communities), and the future vision to sell regional Victoria to Australia.

In addition, last week Councillor Neil Beattie represented Loddon Shire at the Municipal Association of Victoria’s (MAV) State Council (attended by all councils across Victoria).

Loddon Shire Council put up two motions at the state council. The first motion centred on management of the destructive Corella populations and the support of relevant State Government agencies to reach solutions to deal with the issue.

The second motion was around the continuation of funding by the State Government to assist with offsetting costs incurred by councils to collect the Fire Services Property Levy on their behalf.

However, in some welcome news, prior to MAV State Council Loddon Shire received correspondence from the Victorian Government that this funding assistance would continue for the next two financial years – until 30 June 2020.