Mayoral Column 25 February 2019

Published on 25 February 2019

Contours of Our Lives launch

This Wednesday (27 February) will see the launch of the book Contours of Our Lives: reflections from the kitchen table at the Dingee Library Agency.

The book features short stories written by local seniors living in Loddon Shire, completed under the guidance of local award-winning author Lorraine Marwood.

Contours of Our Lives is the result of four writing workshops held at the Dingee Library Agency in August and September last year.

Guided by Mrs Marwood, participants in the workshop were encouraged to reminisce about their childhood, in particular, memories of their childhood kitchen.

I’m also told that my fellow Councillor Colleen Condliffe has a short story featured in the book.

Contours of Our Lives: reflections from the kitchen table will be launched on Wednesday 27 February from 10.30am to 11.30am at the Dingee Library Agency (located at Dingee Railway Station).

Tarnagulla Fire Brigade celebrates 150 years

It was an honour to attend a formal dinner on Saturday (23 February) at the Tarnagulla Public Hall, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Tarnagulla Fire Brigade.

Around 100 people were in attendance at the dinner. Invitees included the Member for Ripon Louise Staley, my fellow Councillor Geoff Curnow, as well as CFA staff, former members and volunteers.

As well as a Welcome to Country from Dja Dja Wurrung, the night included a presentation regarding the history of the formation of the brigade and its role in the community.

The celebrations continued on Sunday with a Family Fun Day at the Tarnagulla Fire Brigade, including the cutting of an anniversary cake and a celebration of the formation of the brigade.

As well as highlighting the role of local fire brigades in our communities, the celebration was an opportunity to pay tribute to the valuable hard work of volunteers and members of the Tarnagulla Fire Brigade.

Productivity Commission inquiry into mental health

The Australian Government's independent research and advisory body, the Productivity Commission, is undertaking an inquiry into mental health.

The inquiry will examine the effect of mental health on people’s ability to participate in and prosper in the community and workplace, and the general effects it has on the economy and productivity. There will be wide consultation as part of the inquiry, including in regional Australia.

The issue of mental health is one that has been at the forefront for the community and Council for a number of years.

A survey of our community during the development of Council’s Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2017-2021, showed that 76 per cent of respondents said improving mental health was very important or important.

Council adopted the Stop Mental Health Stigma Charter at its December 2018 meeting. This followed on from the adoption by Council of the Loddon Healthy Minds Strategic Plan 2017-2022 in May.

Last year, Loddon Shire hosted the Healthy Minds Suicide Prevention conference at Inglewood, which focused on suicide prevention and mental health in our rural areas, as well as raising awareness and starting conversations in communities.

In regard to the national inquiry into mental health, the Productivity Commission has released an issues paper to assist people to make submissions.

To read the issues paper, make a submission or find out more about the inquiry, visit www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/current/mental-health 

The deadline for submissions is Friday 5 April 2019.

Works update

A further section of local road construction has been completed on Pyramid Yarraberb Road, as has 1.3 kilometres of shoulder resheet on Dunns Road. Construction on Bridgewater Raywood Road is due to start late February.

In terms of the grading program, from 1 January this year to the middle of February, 131 kilometres of grading has taken place on gravel roads and minor gravel roads, with 596 kilometres of inspections on these roads.

Did you know?

Having mentioned the book launch at the Dingee Library Agency, did you know that in 2017/18 there were 12,387 library visits in our Shire?