Mayoral Column 22 December 2014

Published on 22 December 2014

Enjoy the season

As I write the last Mayoral Column for the year, I look back and think of what we have achieved in 2014.

This Council, with assistance from state and federal governments, has delivered some very impressive community facilities. None of this would be possible without the enormous effort that comes from the voluntary organisations and individuals in our community, and it is to you that I want to offer a special thanks in this Christmas period.

I wish all Shire residents, Loddon visitors, staff and those we do business with a most enjoyable Christmas and a bright and prosperous New Year.

My hope is that the goodwill we see so evident during this special season might carry on in our dealings with others as we move into 2015. Treasure the time you can spend with your friends and family over this period.

Thanking Loddon’s volunteers

CAPTION: Cr Gavan Holt thanks Loddon’s dedicated volunteers at a ceremony this month.

It was my great honour to sincerely thank our wonderful volunteers that have contributed so much to our community throughout the past 12 months.

I had the great opportunity to meet with and thank the Loddon Visitor Information Centre and Wedderburn Community House volunteers.

These dedicated volunteers work hand-in-hand with staff to ensure the smooth running of our services.

It would be hard to put a dollar value on what these volunteers contribute to our municipality.

I sincerely thank them for their efforts.

Opening of Bridgewater swimming hole

Bridgewater swimming hole opening

CAPTION: Cr Gavan Holt, Heather Mountjoy and Graham Morse, President of BOLD, bury the time capsule at the opening of the Bridgewater swimming hole.

In conjunction with Bridgewater Development Committee and its president Graeme Morse, last Thursday I officially opened the Bridgewater swimming hole on the Loddon River.

This project has developed over a number of years with over $250,000 having been spent on a new swimming jetty, upgrade to the pontoon, landscaping and new toilets, barbecue and safety signage.  We now have another excellent community asset in Bridgewater.

It was of particular pleasure to unveil a plaque in the honour of Heather Mountjoy for her untiring work in driving this project over a number of years.

Of interest is that we also buried a time capsule at the site, to be opened in 25 years.

Garbage collection and office closures

The Council offices in Wedderburn and Serpentine will close at noon on Tuesday, 23 December for the afternoon.

The offices will then close from midday on Wednesday, 24 December and reopen at 8.15am on Monday, 5 January 2015.

The Loddon Visitor Information Centre will be closed on Christmas Day, but is otherwise open every day from 9am to 5pm. For enquiries, phone 5494 3489.

The Visitor Information Centre will provide information on how best to explore the region with family and friends this summer.

Council’s Community Care Department will be closed from noon on Wednesday, 24 December and will reopen at 8.15am on Monday, 5 January. Limited personal care will be provided.

No home care, respite care or property maintenance services will be offered over this time.

For any client service requirement emergencies during this period, call 0427 804 736.

Rubbish and recyclable bin collection due Thursday, 25 December, will be moved to Saturday, 27 December. Collections due Thursday, 1 January will be moved to Saturday, 3 January.

There will be no changes to collection scheduled for Boxing Day, Friday, 26 December.

All landfill sites and transfer stations will be closed on the following days: Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and Australia Day.

Student vaccine program changes

There will be some major changes for next year’s vaccine program which will impact secondary school students and their parents.

Next year, the vaccine that protects against diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough will be offered to all students in Years 7, 8, 9 and 10. However, from 2016, the vaccine will only be offered to Year 7 students, which will provide children with an earlier protection from the diseases.

I advise parents to look out for vaccine consent forms coming home from Loddon schools.

Parents will need to read, complete and return the forms regardless of whether their child is being immunised at school.

The Loddon Shire Council’s immunisation service may contact parents if they have not returned their child’s immunisation consent card to school.

This year, schools have been authorised to provide parent contact details to their local council.

If parents do not want their contact details given to Loddon Shire Council, they will need to contact their school prior to 28 February, 2015.

Parents looking for more information about the vaccine program changes can visit the website: immunehero.health.vic.gov.au.