Mayoral Column 3 March 2014

Published on 03 March 2014

Town will be buzzing

The population of Wedderburn could be more than tripled next weekend, thanks to a happy combination of four special events.

The annual Minelab Detector Jamboree, a major school reunion, an open house program and a town-wide series of garage sales are expected to bring around 1500 visitors to the area.

The busiest day will be Saturday, with the opening of the Jamboree, shops and houses around the town open for inspection, a full program for the reunion of former students and the garage sales in full swing.

The Jamboree begins at 6.45am at Hard Hill Tourist Reserve with breakfast and registration, followed by a packed day of prospecting, food and entertainment.

The value of the prize pool this year is more than $10,000 and, with the caravan park and motel already booked out, it’s clear there’s been plenty of interest from prospecting enthusiasts and their families.

The reunion for students and staff of the old Wedderburn Higher Elementary School will see more than 100 people renew acquaintances over lunch and dinner on Saturday, a church service on Sunday and through some social sight-seeing around town.

There’ll be plenty of photos and stories to fuel the reminiscences!

The idea of throwing open the doors of some of Wedderburn’s vacant homes and shops on Saturday is a new one and a great opportunity to show visitors what’s available.

Anyone interested in moving to the town or opening a new business here will have more to think about after seeing through these buildings, some of which boast a colourful history.

Finally, the garage sales – running from 9am to 4pm on Saturday – will offer people a wide range of quality goods. Maps will be available from the Loddon Visitor Information Centre in Wilson St.

For further information about any of these events, please phone the centre on 5494 3489.

Congratulations to all those who have worked hard to stage them – let’s hope they all prove a great success.

Building work well on track

The new extension at the Wedderburn Community Centre is progressing well, with planning due to start soon on when and how staff will move across to enable modifications to be started on the original building.

In the new section, the joinery fit-out continues, while painting, air conditioning and the fitting of lighting fixtures are all well under way.

Access ramps and the accessible car park are nearing completion, rear access to the building is being addressed and the building’s security system is almost finished.

Within the next two to three weeks, floor coverings will be laid in most areas.

Meanwhile, quotations for a photovoltaic system are being sought and options for roof insulation in the existing building are being considered.

This $1.7 million project, which is being delivered by Council, will see the creation of a new Maternal and Child Health centre, visiting allied health medical consulting rooms, a new Loddon Visitor Information Centre and a renovated Wedderburn Neighbourhood House.

The expected completion date is December this year.

Pools to close

Next Monday (10 March) will see the closure of Council’s five public swimming pools for the off-season.

Manager Community and Recreation Allan Stobaus said last week he was delighted with how the pools had operated this summer.

“We will receive a report on actual attendance figures for the first time in a few weeks, but, anecdotally, our pools have been a great success this season,” Allan said.

“The pools manager has been excellent, lifeguards have been terrific and the number of patrons has definitely increased.

“We’re now looking forward to getting further improvement works under way during the winter.”

One of the first of those projects will be the installation of new solar hot water systems at the Inglewood, Pyramid Hill, Wedderburn and Mitiamo pools over the next five weeks.

Council has accepted a tender from Bendigo company Solahart to supply and fit the equipment. Boort pool already has such a system in place.

The works have been funded by $28,250 from the federal Department of Industry’s Local Government Energy Efficiency Program and $4,237 from Council.

Waste runs unchanged

Kerbside waste and recycling collections will operate as normal for next weekend’s Labour Day holiday and next month’s Easter break.

The Inglewood landfill will be closed on Saturday 30 March.

Please contact Darren Schultz on 5494 1200 during business hours with any further queries.

Advice from the experts 

Loddon Shire residents with questions about Centrelink, Medicare and other government services can get the answers they need when the Australian Government Mobile Office pays a visit next week.

The vehicle will be in front of the recreation reserve in Prairie West Rd at Calivil on Friday (14 March), from 9.30am to 3pm.

Staff will be on hand to give advice on Australian Government payments and services for rural families, older Australians, students, job seekers, people with disabilities, carers, farmers and self-employed people.

For more information, go to www.humanservices.gov.au and search for Mobile Service Centre or call 132 316.