Mayoral Column 30 March 2015

Published on 30 March 2015

Caption: Mayor Gavan Holt awards Stephanie Guy with Australian citizenship.

Council reaffirms its direction

Council last week reaffirmed its commitment to the Council Plan 2013 – 2017.

The plan is the most important Council document outlining its key directions for the life of the plan. All significant Council decisions must be supported in the Plan.

Each year, Council is required to consider whether it needs to review the plan, but this year decided to make some minor cosmetic changes which reflect some local change to circumstances.

Importantly, Council is staying the course and continuing to invest in its seven key strategic platforms. These platforms are:

  1. Build a network of strong communities
  2. Grow our population through appropriate development
  3. Champion our agrifood enterprises
  4. Make our towns liveable and memorable
  5. Grow and diversify our economy
  6. Support our transitioning townships
  7. Connect with the next generation.

Approval for Inglewood Town Hall

Council granted a planning permit for the redevelopment of the Inglewood Town Hall and Community Hub project.

This decision is a significant step forward for the most pivotal project to be undertaken in Inglewood for a number of years.

Whilst Council did receive two objections to the proposal, the Inglewood Ward councillor, Cr Colleen Condliffe, noted the overwhelming community support for this project.

The building will serve the Inglewood community as a function centre, with meeting rooms, public toilets, and professional offices.

Council endorses regional plan

The Loddon Mallee Regional Development Australia Committee recently presented Council with its Regional Strategic Plan 2015 – 2018.

The plan articulates the vision and aspirations of the Loddon Mallee community for the next four years.

The plan seeks to foster our competitive advantages in agriculture and food processing and other regionally significant industries, build the connecting infrastructure for a diverse economy, enhance the well-being and economic participation of our people, and protect and enhance the liveability and appeal of our region.

Council endorsed the plan and has committed to the Loddon Mallee Regional Development Australia Committee to play its part in strengthening the Loddon Mallee region by investing in locally important initiatives within the Loddon Shire.

Council supports railway club

Council has thrown its support behind the Miniature Railway Club of Inglewood, which is hoping to gain access to the road reserve and unreserved Crown land between the Inglewood Eucalyptus Distillery Museum and the existing railway line.

A group of model railway and steam enthusiasts has established a model railway club in Inglewood.

Our new citizen

Stephanie Guy, of Bridgewater, was awarded Australian citizenship last week, during a special ceremony held at the Serpentine Council Chambers.

Stephanie was born in the UK and moved to Australia in 2010. Stephanie and her husband Anthony have decided to make Loddon Shire their home, after falling in love with the area and moving to Bridgewater five months ago.

Congratulations again Stephanie, on your citizenship. I, and my fellow councillors, wish you all the best for your future life here.

Council appoints new members

Each year, Council puts out a call for help, seeking a community member to sit on Council’s Internal Audit Committee.

The Internal Audit Committee provides independent oversight of Council’s processes and seeks to improve efficiency and reduce risk to the organisation.

I would like to thank each of the six community members who generously offered their services to assist Council on the Internal Audit Committee.

I would like to congratulate Mr Ken Belfrage, who is returning for a second four year term, and Mr Rod Poxon of Boort, who is joining the committee for the first time for a three year term.

Ken and Rod join existing Audit Committee members Rod Baker, David Peterson and myself as members of the committee.