Mayoral Column 27 January 2014

Published on 27 January 2014

Thanks to our community heroes

Yesterday was a special day for us, with Australia Day ceremonies conducted in towns the length and breadth of the Shire and four residents welcomed as new Australian citizens.

People gathered around barbeques, lunches and morning tea to salute our national day and hear from eight distinguished Victorians who visited the municipality as official Australia Day Ambassadors.

Different communities structured their ceremonies in different ways, but the same spirit of celebration and thankfulness was common to all.

Congratulations again to the 10 recipients of the Shire’s citizenship honours for their remarkable service to their communities.

The dual winners of our Citizen of the Year awards, Thelma Powell, of Boort, and Susan Horsley-Wyatt, of Newbridge, have given so generously of their time over many years.

Our joint Young Citizen of the Year winners in each Ward – Mitch Henderson, of Lake Marmal, and Lachlan Twigg, of Tandarra – are both young people of enormous promise and great character, while Community Group of the Year Newbridge CWA has distinguished itself by its energy and drive.

Well done, too, to our community service award winners – Alister McDougall in Boort, Sue Brown at Inglewood, Lorna Stewart in Tarnagulla, Vaughan Herrick in Terrick and Darryl Arnott, from Wedderburn.

While we happily salute these individuals for their generosity in donating so much time and thought to their local communities, we, as a Council, must also thank the many others in our towns and districts who do a great deal – often unrecognised – to contribute to the life of their neighbours.

Park push continues

Despite contractual issues, work at the Bridgewater Caravan Park continues to show solid progress.

Be assured, the project will be completed and the community will receive the benefit of a high-quality park.

Contracts for the new amenities block and park cabin closed just over a week ago and tenders received had their first assessments last week.

The jumping pillow and play equipment are all in place and work on the remaining shed and barbeque shelters was expected to recommence last week.

The park manager’s residence currently being built in Shepparton is close to lock-up stage and preparatory work for its installation is about to begin, with the expectation that the partially finished house will be on-site before the end of February.

Be in the swim

Swim, run or ride – the choice is yours when you enter the 11th annual Bridgewater Triathlon and Duathlon planned for next Sunday (2 February).

There are three triathlon course types, plus the duathlon, starting between 8am and 9.30am and entries are invited from all ages. There are two $500 cash prizes to win for your club or school and all presentations will be made at the Bridgewater Hotel after competition ends.

Council has donated $1,000 to event organiser the Bridgewater Football Netball Club under the latest round of its annual Events Sponsorship Scheme to add to the generous support of other local sponsors.

Club secretary Bryan Ryan said around 240 people took part last year, coming from as far afield as Echuca, Swan Hill and Melbourne.

“We even had some from Queensland, but I’m guessing they were on holidays,” he said.

Participants wishing to be timed must lodge their entries by noon on 1 February – otherwise, simply sign in 45 minutes prior to your event.

For more details, phone Bryan on 0423 901 868.

Young entrepreneurs sought

Residents of Loddon Shire aged 16-25 years have been offered places in an innovative new program called “Getting Down to Business”.

Running from March to November, this part-time, personalised program will take in 40 young people keen to gain inside knowledge and expert advice on how to start and sustainably grow their business.

Participants will work in groups helped by facilitators, attend three presentation days in Melbourne, meet for discussions in regional locations, receive monthly coaching and mentoring sessions and complete five short courses.

“Getting Down to Business” is an initiative of the Victorian Government, delivered by Enterprising Partnerships. There is no cost.
Applications close on 21 February. For more information, go to: www.enterprisingpartnerships.com.au/getting-down-to-business
For specific questions or support in completing the application, phone Lynda on 0414 440 483 during business hours.

Watch your animals

Livestock wandering on to train tracks has become a more frequent problem in recent years and V/Line is responding with a new awareness campaign aimed at local property owners.

The only passenger rail service now operating in Loddon Shire is the Swan Hill to Melbourne line, which stops at Dingee and Pyramid Hill.

Freight trains are operating from Maryborough to Korong Vale, via Inglewood, before branching off either to Sea Lake (via Wycheproof) or Manangatang (via Ultima).

Maintenance vehicles may also operate between Inglewood and Eaglehawk, beyond Sea Lake to Mittyack and beyond Manangatang to Robinvale.

V/Line says stock owners are responsible for keeping animals away from railway tracks and thus avoiding delays which affect the overall efficiency of the network.

If you need to move livestock or machinery across railway tracks, please phone V/Line first on 9619 1077.