Mayoral Column 25 April 2016

Published on 25 April 2016

New Bridgewater boat ramp

Work has begun on a $242,500 boat ramp which will improve access to the Loddon River at Bridgewater for a growing number of boating enthusiasts.

The boat ramp project is a further enhancement of boating facilities along the river and forms another part of Council’s plans to redevelop the foreshore.

While at a cursory glance, Bridgewater sports and boating groups may appear to be the major beneficiaries of the project, works planned for the precinct, including the establishment of a designated parking area for boating users, will enhance the area for all.

Word is ever spreading about the accessibility and natural beauty of the Loddon River and increasing numbers of people are making Bridgewater Caravan Park, and nearby riverside locations, their destination of choice.

We now need to ensure the site is managed in a manner which is inviting for residents and visitors drawn to the river for a range of leisure activities including quieter pursuits such as fishing, paddling, swimming and walking.

The project really is part of a broader vision to capitalise on tourism within our Shire, as when increased numbers of people are drawn to stop in our beautiful riverside town, they will be lead to explore neighbouring townships such as Inglewood.

I’m looking forward to seeing work on this significant project, which has been jointly funded by local and state government programs, progress in the coming weeks.

Lighting up Kelly Park

Work is set to begin next month on the second stage of a major upgrade of Kelly Park in Pyramid Hill.

We’ve been delighted by feedback received following the recent construction of a half-court basketball netball court and the installation of an irrigation system to maintain freshly laid turf.

Residents have now welcomed news that work to upgrade their playground, improve the park’s landscaping and install lighting are about to get underway.

From the earliest concept stages the project included close community consultation to ensure Kelly Park was developed into a space which attracted residents of all ages to meet friends and neighbours in.

Floodlighting the park with solar bollards and installing lighting over the entertainment area will provide the finishing touches to maximise usage.

The $130,000 project, which is expected to be completed by December, has been supported by a $54,000 state government minor facilities program grant and $15,000 federal government community support fund allocation, with the balance to be met by Council.

Have your say on how council elections run

Loddon Shire residents have the opportunity to help shape the municipality’s future direction when they vote at council elections held across Victoria on October 22.

Meanwhile, right now, you have the opportunity have your say on how those elections are run, with several proposed reforms designed to ensure elections are fair and inclusive being put to the test.

The proposed changes include candidates’ indication of preferences no longer being included in postal ballot packs sent to voters at postal elections, and including an opportunity for candidates to answer a series of questions relating to their capacity to be a councillor.

Under the proposed changes, candidate statements provided to postal voters would allow for more detail by increasing from 150 words to 200 words.

A further proposed change allows votes cast by post at both postal and attendance elections to be received up to nine days following election day.

I would encourage residents interested in learning more about the proposed local government election changes to visit www.delwp.vic.gov.au/local-government to view the Local Government (Electoral) Regulations 2016 discussion paper.

To have your say on the proposed changes email local.government@delwp.vic.gov.au or mail to Local Government (Electoral) Regulations 2016, Local Government Victoria, PO Box 500, East Melbourne, Vic, 8002.

Submissions on the proposed changes close at 5pm on Friday 6 May.