Mayoral Column 30 November 2015

Published on 30 November 2015

Make the most of our recreational facilities

Whether you have a competitive edge or take a more leisurely approach, you’re sure to find an appealing recreational option close to home this summer.

While all five Council swimming pools are now open, residents are also encouraged to take advantage of the new Wedderburn multi-purpose netball / tennis court at Donaldson Park and fantastic play space developed at Inglewood Sports Centre.

I congratulate all who took a hands-on approach to getting these recently opened facilities off the ground, particularly at Inglewood, where there was a strong community contribution.

This included Inglewood and Bridgewater Men’s Shed members constructing stunning wooden furniture, through to Wedderburn College VCAL students building pathways and planting trees to create a beautiful space for parents and carers to rest while children enjoy the playground equipment.

The Inglewood and Wedderburn based projects, which received considerable government and community backing, are sure to provide much enjoyment over the fast approaching school holiday period and for years to come.

Speaking of the school holidays, each of our five pools offer an inviting and shady meeting point, complete with grassy green areas and barbecue facilities, so make the most of the warm weather by digging out those bathers.

To receive the latest information about opening times, special activities and VicSwim classes, simply like us on Facebook.

For season ticket and entry prices to swimming pools based at Inglewood, Boort, Wedderburn, Pyramid Hill and Mitiamo, go to Loddon Shire Council’s website at www.loddon.vic.gov.au

Wedderburn “powered up” by Christmas

Wedderburn residents wondering what stage streetscape works are up to may be pleased to discover underground power is expected to be connected before Christmas.

It’s hard to miss the crew from civil contractors McClures who’ve been busily excavating pits along High Street ready for the installation of conduits followed by electrical cable.

More recently, Powercor has been in town and appears on track to finish joining cables in the pits by the end of November and then livening up in early December.

The final step in having new underground power up and running will see Stahl Electrical workers connecting cables to all residences and businesses, ready to power High Street up in a brand new fashion in time for Christmas.

Existing overhead power lines and street lights will remain in place over the festive season, before being retired and replaced by new street lights from mid to late January.

Aboriginal Eco Tours to provide economic boost to Boort

Boort is abuzz with news that Indigenous eco-tours for school students and the retiree market will be introduced on Little Lake Boort from early next year.

Locals have long known Boort is up there with Kakadu, Lake Mungo and the Gunbower Forest in terms of cultural heritage and environmental values.

Schools already visit the area and the over-50’s are brought in through Council’s popular Discovery Tours, but this new tourism initiative is like nothing we’ve seen before.

The program has been designed by Gulpilil’s Australia, an Indigenous tour company operating seasonally in East Arnhem Land, around Swan Hill and on Melbourne’s Yarra River.

There’s no doubt the enterprise will boost the Boort economy, with local businesses invited to offer their support in areas such as catering, event management and accommodation.

Boort’s rich cultural history includes hundreds of sites of Aboriginal heritage significance and the tours have been a long-held objective of Loddon Shire’s Tourism Strategy and Nature Tourism Plan.

We’re now looking forward to sharing our beautiful environment through a diverse program focusing on Aboriginal language, kinship and connection to country, including activities such as flat-water canoeing, visiting ancient burial sites, smoking ceremonies, boomerang and spear throwing.

The tours at Boort will be offered during one week each month. For details contact the Loddon Visitor Information Centre on 5494 1257.

Be asbestos aware before renovating

A huge percentage of residents in Loddon Shire live in older homes they may consider making improvements to at some stage.

Before throwing yourself into that home renovation project I would encourage you to seek reliable information about the risks of disturbing asbestos products.

While we are about to farewell November, which is Asbestos Awareness Month, the dangers remain, with 1 in 3 Australian homes containing asbestos in some form or another.

Many people wrongly believe that only fibro homes contain asbestos but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

If left undisturbed asbestos generally doesn’t pose a health risk but when disturbed during renovations and home maintenance, asbestos fibres can be released into the air and inhaled, causing life-threatening diseases.

Asbestos containing products may be found in and around any brick, weatherboard, fibro or clad homes built or renovated before 1987.

To find out more about asbestos containing products, where they might be found and how to manage and dispose of asbestos safely visit www.asbestosawareness.com.au to take the 20 point safety check.