Mayoral Column 25 March 2019

Published on 25 March 2019

Funding announcement welcomed

It was fantastic to receive the news that the Our Region, Our Rivers project joint infrastructure project was successful in gaining funding from the Federal Regional Growth Fund.

Council very much welcomes this funding announcement from the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack.

On behalf of Council, I’d also like to recognise and thank Swan Hill Rural City Council, which coordinated the significant amount of work that went into the joint funding application. This application involved the Swan Hill, Gannawarra, Buloke and Loddon councils from Victoria and Balranald, Murray River and Edward River councils in NSW.

Loddon’s share of the funding is more than $760,000, which will help deliver over $1.5 million worth of works.

This funding will enable Council to undertake significant redevelopment of three of its caravan parks in Pyramid Hill, Boort and Wedderburn, and implement Stage 2 of the Bridgewater Foreshore project.

It will see new caravan park facilities such as amenities blocks, entrance upgrades, improvements to some cabins and powerheads, water and sullage points. These long-awaited improvements are expected to increase tourism patronage and use of short-term accommodation in Pyramid Hill, Boort and Wedderburn, increasing overnight stays in our towns and bringing wider economic benefits to those communities and the broader region.

The Bridgewater Foreshore Project will deliver new and upgraded infrastructure that is accessible, easily maintained and safe, including seating areas and shelters, community gathering spaces, pathways, interpretive/cultural signage and improved access points to the foreshore.  

The Bridgewater Foreshore precinct is a popular destination for the local community and visitors alike and these improvements will make this area even better to visit and spend more time enjoying.

Food and Wine Expo success

I’d like to congratulate the Loddon Southern Development and Tourism Committee on the very successful Loddon Valley Food and Wine Expo on 16 March.

The feedback from the day, particularly those who attended the River Feast luncheon, has been very positive. The expo not only had a good turnout of locals, but visitors from across Victoria.

As I have previously highlighted, the day was a fantastic opportunity to showcase the amazing array of local producers within the Loddon Valley, and to put a spotlight on our Loddon Shire overall.

I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the amazing work of the Loddon Southern Development and Tourism Committee. The committee oversaw the Loddon Valley Food and Wine Expo from its concept through to the staging of the event.

The expo was also made possible through funding, including from Regional Development Victoria ($50,000), Inglewood and Districts Community Bank, and Council, as well as other sponsorship and in-kind support, such as the many volunteers that helped the day run smoothly.

CFA Rural Decline project

The Wedderburn community (as well as Edenhope) has been nominated to participate in a CFA project which is trialling a new way of engaging communities during its planning process.

This is one of a range of projects by the CFA’s Rural Decline, Retraction and Ageing Steering Committee, which aims to support communities with declining populations across the North West and West regions.

The aim is to better understand community needs by looking at data and talking with local volunteers and service providers about local experiences, knowledge and innovative ideas. The steering committee wants the people who are using CFA services to be part of developing local action plans to address priority needs.

During the next few months, the Wedderburn community project will include interviews with service providers, surveys in the street with local community members and a local workshop.

Feedback from this community research will then help inform an action plan for the future addressing priority areas of need.

If you are approached to participate in a survey or invited to the workshop please take the time to take part, as your feedback will be valuable to the CFA in helping address the needs of our community.

Did you know?

The Loddon Valley Food and Wine Expo showcased more than 20 producers from across the region.