Mayoral Column 23 March 2015

Published on 23 March 2015

CAPTION: Youth Advisory Council members (back) Thomas Jackson, Steven Gunther, Cyan Norton, (front) Monique Vella, Daniel Hercott and Arron Curry.

Council issues permits to burn

While fire restrictions are still in force, permits are available from the CFA and Council for residents to burn in the open air.

Each application is assessed individually, on its own merit, and Loddon Shire may approve a permit to burn, which would be accompanied by strict guidelines.

Guidelines stipulate requirements including how many people must be present during the fire, the water supply that is required, the weather conditions and a fire break distance.

Once the CFA lifts the fire restriction period, it is still important for people to self-regulate when planning to burn in the open air.

For more information, contact Loddon Shire Council on 5494 1200.

Flood protection for Loddon

The flood protection design survey for Boort, Pyramid Hill and Serpentine is nearing completion and the protection analysis and draft designs are underway.

Council identified a need for a flood protection design for the three towns, after the 2010/11 floods severely impacted the communities.

The floodwaters revealed the need for greater protection during large flood events.

Flooding that occurs during these natural disasters causes significant emotional trauma to the residents at the time of these events and for a significant time afterwards. Flooding also affects the social harmony of these communities for months and, in some cases, years after a flood event.

The damage to infrastructure including roads, stormwater and utility services places a substantial economic burden on Council. There is also significant short and long term environmental degradation to areas after a flood incident.

The flood protection design will provide Boort, Pyramid Hill and Serpentine with an engineered one in 100 year flood protection functional design. The design will be a long term investment and will provide a levee system that requires minimal personnel input at the time of a major flood event.

Council has had its consultations with Pyramid Hill and Boort community groups and will arrange a meeting with Serpentine representatives in the coming weeks.

Loddon Valley Tourism Business Network

Loddon Tourism Network

CAPTION: The Loddon Valley Tourism Business Network meeting was attended by 20 local operators.

The first Loddon Valley Tourism Business Network evening has been labelled a huge success with 20 operators from a variety of businesses attending the first meeting.

The evening gave operators the opportunity to talk about their businesses and think about marketing initiatives.

This was an opportunity for businesses to work on their business, and not in it. At the meeting, businesses looked at how we could work collaboratively to extend visitor experiences and bed nights in Loddon.

Meat on Brooke proprietor James Clee said having an insight into other businesses within the Shire was a great way for him to refer tourists throughout the municipality.

“The night was excellent,” he said.

“We had some great ideas come from the meeting, including placing brochures in businesses to pass them on to tourists.

“If a tourist is in town, they don’t mind travelling up to Boort and around the Shire.”

Tarnagulla Ebajinda Enterprises owner Jan King said she was initially surprised she was invited to the event.

“My businesses sells name badges, labels and signs to direct people,” she said.

“I’m not directly involved in tourism, but I am indirectly involved with the tourism businesses using my services.”

Ms King said it was wonderful to get an insight into other people’s business operations.

“It was so interesting,” she said.

“We heard how the butcher shop had a seven year plan, and how they stuck to it.”

She said beyond that, it was nice to learn about other operators in the area to refer people who were coming to town.

“When you know what other businesses are doing you can point people in the right direction.

“Every business should be attending this meeting. Everyone is indirectly involved in tourism. If someone comes to town and books accommodation they are still going to go and buy the paper.”

As a region, we want to encourage businesses to get together and work together to increase the tourism yield across the municipality.

The next Loddon Valley Business Network meeting is on Tuesday 19 May at the Inglewood Blue Eucalyptus Museum from 6.30pm.

To RSVP to the event, contact the Loddon Visitor Information Centre on 5494 1257 by Tuesday 12 May for catering purposes.

Youth Advisory Council

Council’s Youth Advisory Council met again this week, (Monday 23 March) to discuss its future plans and how it will integrate with Loddon Shire Council.

The youth pilot program had two representatives from each of Loddon’s high schools. The representatives will meet with Councillors, Council officers and their principals on a regular basis.

The discussion continued this week, with the students invited to steer the program.

This is a fabulous way to engage our youth in our current Council initiatives.

The group will consult with the Shire on a range of issues and they will have the opportunity to develop an insight on how Council operates including its processes, budgets, compliance procedures and decision making processes.

Pet registration due

Pet owners will soon receive their furry friends’ registration renewal notice in the mail.

Residents who have a cat or dog that hasn’t been registered with Council in the past will need to contact the Shire.

Pet registration is a legal requirement and animals need to be registered by the time they are three months old.

The fee this year is $103, but pensioners pay half that.  Reduced fees of $25 (and $12.50 concession) are available under certain conditions.

Pet owners will receive a discount if their animal has been desexed, is over 10 years of age, belongs to a domestic animal business or applicable organisation, if it’s a dog that has undergone training or is a working dog. 

If you no longer have a cat or dog that was registered with Council last year, you will need to contact the Shire, so we can amend our records.

Council officers can issue fines of up to $1480 per animal if your pet is not registered.

Registrations can be paid by mail, over the phone with a credit card only or at Council agencies around the Shire.

Apart from the Council offices in Serpentine and Wedderburn, sites accepting payments are the Boort Resource and Information Centre, the Bridgewater and Tarnagulla post offices, the general stores at Dingee, Mitiamo and Newbridge, Bendigo Bank at Inglewood, Pyramid Hill Newsagency and the Rural Transaction Centre at Dunolly.

For more information on how to register your pet with Loddon Shire Council, go to www.loddon.vic.gov.au or phone 5494 1200.