Mayoral Column 5 June 2017

Published on 05 June 2017

Explore the Loddon Valley this weekend

The upcoming Queen’s Birthday long weekend is the perfect opportunity to get out and explore our beautiful Loddon Valley.

From winter walks, biking, fishing, boating or enjoying the indoor warmth of accommodation options throughout the region (as well as great spots to eat), it’s definitely worth taking time out to explore the region.

If you’ve got visitors heading your way this long weekend, why not take them on a bit of a tour of our region’s incredible backyard?

And of course, if you are travelling this Queen’s Birthday weekend, be it around the Loddon Valley or on a longer trip, please make sure you drive carefully and be mindful that there will be extra traffic on the roads.

Older residents urged to stay safe online

If in doubt, don’t.

That’s the message Consumer Affairs Victoria is giving older residents when it comes to staying safe online.

Many older Victorians are attractive targets for scammers because they often own substantial assets and have access to life savings and superannuation. They are also the fastest growing online user group in the country, with many going online to keep in touch with children, family and friends, to conduct research, book holidays, catch up on television and more.

Life events such as financial hardship and recovering from illness, loss and trauma can also leave older residents more vulnerable to scams.

Scammers are professional criminals. Anyone can fall for a scam because scammers are getting smarter and using more sophisticated tricks to deceive thousands of older Victorians every year.

Consumer Affairs offers the following tips for staying safe online:

• Don’t open suspicious text messages, pop-up windows or emails.
• Be wary of any emails or requests on social media from people you don’t know.
• Avoid sending money, personal or financial details to someone you’ve never met in person, especially if you are online dating.

Find out more about the common types of scams, and tips on how to identify, avoid or report a scam at www.consumer.vic.gov.au/scamsavvy.

Wedderburn depot takes shape

It’s good to see progress being made on the new administration office for the Wedderburn depot. The upgraded accommodation will certainly be a step up from the current offices, which are freezing cold and draughty in winter, and are shared with a storage area.

The footings, slab and framing on the new office are now complete, and the facility is rapidly taking shape. The project will also upgrade the current amenities to meet accessibility standards.

The new accommodation is expected to be ready for depot staff to move into in early August, depending on the weather.

Creating a Mentally Healthy Small Business

A number of residents within our Shire are small business owners and know the hard work and pressures involved in starting, growing and maintaining a small business.

Small business owners will inevitably face challenges when it comes to running and sustaining a small business, so it’s important to know how to cope and look after yourself when these challenges arrive.

The Victorian Small Business Commissioner (VSBC) has resources available around “Creating a Mentally Healthy Small Business”.  

When talking about mental health in the workplace, it means how a business environment affects someone (whether positively or negatively) and how this then affects the ability to do our jobs.

According to the VSBC, it may not at first be obvious how the pressure of running a business can affect mental health. Therefore, it’s important that business owners can identify early on when help is needed. This ensures you can keep yourself (and your business) functioning at optimum level. It’s just as important to make sure you think about creating a mentally healthy workplace – just as you would about your business’s finance or marketing.

The two key areas when it comes to a mentally healthy workplace are the mental health priorities of you as the business owner and creating a mentally healthy workspace for your staff.

Whether you work alone or have a small, close-knit team, business owners need to be aware of their own mental health needs. After all, a business owner’s mental health is important to that business’s success.

To find out more about creating a mentally healthy small business, visit www.vsbc.vic.gov.au.