Mayoral Column 27 April 2015

Published on 27 April 2015

Restructure of our outdoor workforce

Council is in the process of working through a restructure of its works department, which when complete will greatly improve Council’s ability to deliver effective, efficient and sustainable road and infrastructure maintenance services across the local community.

The introduction of the Road Management Act 2004 and the adoption and amendment of the Loddon Shire Road Management Plan has spurred on the department transformation, with shifting responsibilities, service demands and workloads.

It is important to note that there are currently 55 staff members in the works department and 55 positions under the new structure.

Of the 55 staff only 19 will be directly affected by the changes, with Council working closely with the whole team to ensure there is a seamless transition.

Reallocation of staff resources will result in a change in the type and number of positions maintained within various operational areas. 

The changes are designed to ensure we have the best match between resource availability and work demands across the broad range of activities the department performs.

Initial consultation with staff began in August 2014 and since then several meetings with the outdoor workforce have occurred to discuss and plan how the department will move forward.

In addition to changes to staffing responsibilities, the restructure will also take advantage of technological advances and expand its plant inventory through the implementation of a near live electronic work order system, as well as the purchase of two additional water trucks and an excavator.

The department is aiming to complete its transition by 30 June.

Loddon’s ready for its city showcase

More than 10,000 visitors are expected to get a taste of Loddon Shire Council at the Regional Victoria Living Expo.

All of Victoria’s 48 rural and regional councils take part at the Melbourne based event, which is designed to give city residents looking for a regional move the chance to view all of the municipalities under the one roof.

The expo is an opportunity for Loddon to show patrons why our municipality is a great place to live.

We have found in the past that those looking to make a move to the country are most interested in housing affordability, job vacancies, investment prospects, education options and sporting, cultural and recreational opportunities.

This is the fourth year Loddon Shire Council will participate in the expo and we have a dedicated team of staff who are well equipped to talk to visitors on these topics.

Council has developed a thorough marketing plan with brochures, guides and even a farm animal shaped stress ball giveaway for those interested in learning more about Loddon.

The Regional Living Expo will run between 1 May and 3 May.

National magazine focuses on Loddon

Loddon Shire Council secured a massive feat when the team from Caravan and Motorhome agreed to feature the region in its magazine and on DVD.

The kudos comes after Loddon Shire contacted the magazine last year, after which the writers, photographers and production crew set up camp at the brand new Bridgewater Public Caravan Park to feature the region.

Using the caravan park as a base, they toured the Loddon, Bendigo, Maryborough and Castlemaine area, returning to the Loddon River each evening. The crew used the footage, photographs and interviews to develop a nine page feature spread in this month’s publication.

Our tourism department is proactive in sourcing valuable and creditable coverage to promote our wonderful municipality. I want to thank our wonderful volunteers and staff who contributed along with the businesses that went out of their way to assist and help.

A magazine like Caravan and Motorhome attracts a large following and its readers are looking for places to visit. These travellers have the time to take advantage of our local attractions and amenities, spend money at our supermarkets, butchers and local eateries.

We have already had bookings as a result of the feature, with those rolling into the Bridgewater Public Caravan Park finding us after reading the magazine.

Getting the jab

Residents are being urged to assess their own immunisation needs, as well as the needs of those they care for during immunisation week 24 – 30 April.

I’m reiterating a message from the state government’s chief health officer Professor Michael Ackland, that immunisations are required throughout life, not just during childhood.

Health, age, lifestyle and occupation, are the four key factors that determine an individual’s immunisation needs.

Find out what immunisations you should discuss with your doctor by taking the Better Health Channel online survey at www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/immunisation.