Mayoral Column 4 July 2016

Published on 04 July 2016

Loddon Shire welcomes new CEO

Photo Caption: Loddon Shire CEO Phil Pinyon and his wife have moved to Wedderburn and are looking forward to becoming part of the community.

This week marks the beginning of a new chapter for Loddon Shire Council as Phil Pinyon steps into the CEO chair.

Phil and his wife have decided to reside in Wedderburn so they can become a part of the local community and as the opportunity arises I trust you will join me in warmly welcoming them to Loddon.

My fellow councillors and Loddon Shire staff are looking forward to working with Phil who has expressed the privilege he feels at having the opportunity to serve our community in his leadership position.

Phil has a wealth of local government experience spanning across several states and it will be exciting to see how he harnesses that knowledge to build and develop our communities.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Acting CEO Marg Allan for the direction and support she has demonstrated during the interim.

Making our mark in Canberra

While the annual Local Government National General Assembly allows councillors right across the nation to better hear, share and understand each other, last week’s trip to Canberra also presented a prime opportunity to further impress on decision makers the key issues affecting Loddon.

Wedderburn Ward Councillor Gavan Holt and myself, along with the Murray River Group of Councils, were fortunate to spend considerable time with the Federal Water Minister’s advisor Matt Coulton and the Murray Darling Authority CEO Phillip Glyde.

In two separate meetings we raised the severe impact the Murray Darling Basin Plan is having on our communities and associated difficulties surrounding the GMW Connections Project.

I feel the meetings we are having with this level of government may be starting to influence thinking at the top end and we are hopeful of achieving a positive outcome for agriculture and the environment alike.

Financial Assistance Grants were also in the spotlight with the indexation of these grants being returned soon.

Spring festivities finalised

While winter may be far from over, planning for the Naturally Loddon Spring Festival is well underway.

The annual Festival Calendar has been finalised, with the printed copy ready to be mailed out with rates notices later this month.

Set to run between 4 September and 30 October, the Naturally Loddon Spring Festival presents the perfect opportunity to explore, discover and rediscover your own backyard.

The Boort Sculpture By The Lake Competition at Boort Agricultural Show, Wedderburn Vintage Machinery Rally, Kamarooka Wetlands Restoration free bus trip, Pyramid Hill Fiesta and Terrick Terrick National Park Activities Weekend are just a few of the available possibilities.

If you would like to view the complete Naturally Loddon Spring Festival Calendar before it reaches your mailbox, feel free to collect a copy from the Loddon Visitor Information Centre, various tourist stands and businesses across the Shire, or visit the events section of our website here.

The 2016-2017 Calendar of Events is also off the press and ready to be posted with rates notices, however it’s not too late to have an event added to the website calendar.

Email your event information to loddonvisitorinformation@loddon.vic.gov.au for inclusion in the website calendar.

Loddon Healthy Minds Network Art Competition

The Loddon Healthy Minds Network Art Competition provides a cathartic opportunity for residents to express their creativity and celebrate their strengths.

It’s fantastic to hear that the annual competition will appeal to more residents this year with the addition of a literary section to be judged by respected reporter Larissa Romensky.

Larissa’s love of stories led her on a career path covering breakfast radio with Melbourne’s 3CR, producing feature radio documentaries for Radio National and undertaking media and communications teaching posts with Swinburne and RMIT University.

She has also utilised her writing and media skills at the City of Port Phillip and ABC Open in Horsham, Bendigo and Ballarat. Larissa is currently the cross media reporter for Central Victoria.

Whether you’re a budding artist or writer, your competition entry is to be based around this year’s chosen theme, “Mental Health – Look Out For Your Mates!”

The open section of the competition is seeking entries from Loddon Shire residents aged over 18 years, while the junior section caters for 14 to 18 year olds within the municipality.

Completed entries are to be delivered to Loddon Shire’s Wedderburn or Serpentine based office by Monday 8 August.

Entry forms are available online at www.loddonhealthyminds.com.au, Loddon Shire Council’s Wedderburn or Serpentine based office or by phoning 5494 1246.