Mayoral Column 23 November 2015

Published on 23 November 2015

Looking towards the future in new role

Having served as a councillor for several years, it’s a pleasure to be writing my first column, after being sworn in as Mayor at a special Council meeting in Boort on Friday.

I come to the position at a time of growing optimism, with Premier Daniel Andrews, in the company of Cabinet ministers and Loddon Shire Council representatives, announcing in Wedderburn a multi-million dollar package to support communities dealing with ongoing dry conditions.

This includes a commitment to fast track the South West Loddon Rural Water Supply Project, which is welcome relief for farmers in the south-west corner of Loddon.

A guaranteed water supply secures existing agricultural activities and paves the way to attract intensive animal industries, but we mustn’t underestimate the value it brings to the broader community.

The project has flow-on benefits by providing a means to sustainably care for our recreational facilities and for residents to water their gardens, helping build a greener, more attractive environment for all who live and work in our Shire.

Bridgewater project to beautify a natural asset

Bridgewater residents are looking forward to work beginning on a major project announced during Premier Andrews’ recent visit to Loddon Shire.

Improvements will be made within Bridgewater to capitalise on one of our greatest natural assets, The Loddon River.

Works will be carried out as part of a $1 million state government community infrastructure project included in the drought package.

The project will be the first stage of a larger project to beautify, increase functionality, improve accessibility and link the main street of Bridgewater to the Loddon River, creating an attractive entrance to the Shire.

The works will include construction of infrastructure, landscaping and environmental works which in turn may support tourism, create jobs, encourage economic growth and make Bridgewater more inviting to all.

Boort tomatoes simply the best

As Boort ward councillor, as well as Mayor of the Shire, I’m happy to be able to further spread word of Simply Tomatoes’ silver award win at the RACV Victorian Tourism Awards.

This is a huge achievement for their business and our entire Shire, as it recognises the quality of tourism within our municipality.

On behalf of the Shire I would like to congratulate Simply Tomatoes on its prestigious win which recognises business development activity.

Business owners Ian and Marilyn Lanyon have grown broad acreage tomatoes for almost 30 years on their 1200 acre irrigation farm at Yando, north-east of Boort.

As an extension of this enterprise we have seen the innovative couple develop and sell at markets a range of culinary delights to match, before going on to distribute their products through some 450 retail outlets around Australia and overseas.

In recent years, the Lanyons have added further on-farm business ventures to the mix, comprising Aussie Wool Quilts, Woolly Warmers therapeutic heat pads, two accommodation options, as well as offering the use of their functions area for private events and organising day tours for visitors.

The entire operation is an inspiring example of just what can be achieved in our beautiful Mediterranean climate when adding to the mix a solid serve of imagination, business acumen and old fashioned hard work and determination.

Great Victorian Bike Ride ready to roll

The RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride rolls into town next Tuesday, 1 December.

While Inglewood is the focal point of festivities, several other townships en route will take the opportunity to give a hospitable welcome.

Afternoon tea will be served at Rheola sports ground which has been named a designated rest spot, while Bridgewater Bakehouse and an array of market stalls lining the main thoroughfare will cater for the many onlookers drawn to the event.

It’s great to have the opportunity to give visitors who otherwise may not have discovered our region a taste of what we have on offer. Inglewood will be the best positioned to do this, as they host the cyclists overnight.

This is an opportunity, I must add, which wouldn’t have been possible without Bendigo Regional Tourism and Council equally sharing the cost of the $12,000 Inglewood Recreational Reserve camping fee.

This cooperative approach has opened the door for us to showcase all Inglewood has to offer, and we plan to do it in style.

Brooke Street will be alive with music and an eclectic range of market stalls. Everything from antique shops to historic buildings will throw their doors open.

A range of special events, in keeping with the historic nature of the township, are planned including Sandy Creek’s Clydesdale tours, Blue Eucy Museum tours, and a court house re-enactment.

I would encourage families with children of all ages to come along, as there will be something for everyone, with barefoot bowls, free swimming pool entry and a pop-up restaurant to be run by Inglewood Aged Beef and the Spotted Cow restaurant.