Mayoral Column 7 May 2018

Published on 07 May 2018

State budget brings welcome funding

With the release of the Victorian State Budget last week, it was good to see some funding towards projects and on-the-ground works in our region.

This includes $10.2 million to support the construction of a reticulated water supply to service areas surrounding the town of Mitiamo (Council looks forward to a Federal Government commitment to complete this project). There is also $19.1 million to upgrade the Calder Highway between Bendigo and Mildura, and funding for safety upgrades to the old Inglewood Reservoir.

More than $941 million has been allocated for better regional roads across the state, including $100 million for grants to rural councils to undertake local road remediation projects. There is also $333 million for regional roads restoration, $261 million for regional road upgrades and $229 million for safety upgrades to the regional road network.

As a member of Rural Councils Victoria, Loddon Shire also welcomed the $20 million commitment to the Rural Council Transformation Program. The program will help rural councils identify and implement more efficient operational practices, such as a grant program to help rural councils across Victoria set up joint procurement opportunities and shared services projects.

Being able to share resources is particularly important to rural councils such as Loddon Shire, given our generally large geographical areas, long distances to major population centres and smaller populations. These factors often mean rural councils pay more per unit for products and services, compared to metropolitan councils.

Among other items in the budget is $5 million towards the Healthy Heart of Victoria program in the Loddon Campaspe region, $171.9 million for free TAFE priority courses (from 1 January 2019) and $60 million to extend the Community Sport Infrastructure Fund.

You can find out more about the state budget at www.budget.vic.gov.au

“Fee” free waste days

The next “fee” free waste disposal days for the quarter are scheduled for this month, on 19 and 20 May.

“Fee” free waste days are an opportunity to dispose of up to four cubic metres of general domestic waste free of charge. This includes green waste, mixed recyclables, general household waste and white goods.

Charges still apply for tyres, bricks and concrete, mattresses and e-waste. This is because these items have additional third party costs associated with their disposal.

A “fee” free waste disposal opportunity will take place on Saturday 19 May at the Inglewood Transfer Station from 8am to 12pm.

This will be followed on Sunday 20 May at Boort (1pm to 5pm), Pyramid Hill (8am to 12pm), and Newbridge (1pm to 5pm) landfills, and Wedderburn (8am to 12pm) and Dingee (10am to 2pm) transfer stations.

Remember to bring your licence or rates notice to verify your address so you can benefit from this service.

Wear orange for SES

On Wednesday 23 May all Australians are encouraged to wear orange in a united show of appreciation for the tremendous work and commitment of the State Emergency Services (SES) volunteers. This includes the 5000 VICSES volunteers who responded to more than 31,000 calls last year (estimated at 302,623 operational hours).

Wear Orange Wednesday (WOW Day) is a chance to thank these volunteers who support local communities during floods, storms, landslides, road rescue operations and more.

Landmarks in Melbourne and across Victoria will be ‘flooded’ in orange this WOW Day, while events and morning teas will also be held throughout the state.

For WOW Day updates and information on how you can get involved, visit www.wearorangewednesday.com.au/get-involved

Bridgewater Mother’s Day Classic

On Sunday 13 May Bridgewater on Loddon will be holding its ninth Mother’s Day Classic.

The Mother’s Day Classic is a nation-wide community-based event that raises funds for breast cancer research.

Kicking off at 9am at the Bridgewater Recreation Reserve, the event’s fun run and walk brings together the community on Mother’s Day to remember, celebrate and honour those touched by breast cancer.

Participants can take part in either a 3km or 5km walk and run, with the course taking you through the streets of the town to the scenic Loddon River, before heading back to the recreation reserve.

There will be a light breakfast on offer on the day, including pancakes, muesli, croissants and a cuppa after you complete the course. The event also features a guest speaker, live music and is a relaxing way to start Mother's Day.

To find out more, go to Loddon Shire’s Events Calendar on its website (www.loddon.vic.gov.au) under the “Visit” tab at the top of the page.