Mayoral Column 9 February 2015

Published on 09 February 2015

(Caption: Residents are invited to view the plans and make comment until Friday, 27 March.)

Community feedback sought for streetscape

Public comment and feedback is once again being sought for the Wedderburn Streetscape Improvement Project.

Loddon Shire Council has placed great value on the earlier public consultation and has continued working on the project, with the full detailed civil engineering design now complete.

While preserving the community’s suggestions reflected within the earlier landscape architect’s plans, the updated plans incorporate improvements to seating, the town drainage system, new footpaths, kerb and channel, drainage, extensive feature paving, car parking, tree planting and garden beds.

Prior public consultation provided a wealth of information and new ideas such as changes to the choice of street tree to a more practical and robust species in Chinese Elm.

Loddon Shire is hoping locals will take the opportunity to once again view the updated plans and give feedback to Council to ensure the streetscape meets the community’s desires.

A major inclusion in the plans is the undergrounding of power lines, which will provide a significant lift to the main street and clear the skyline of overhead power cables.

The new streetscape is aimed at rebuilding the main street as a safe and friendly environment for pedestrians, cyclists and road users, as well as giving the community an attractive and renewed business centre.

The streetscape will be a welcoming environment for travellers, and in turn, provide an economic boost for businesses.

The changes to Wedderburn’s High Street will give drivers visual cues to slow down and will enhance the visual aesthetic of the town. This has been done in a number of ways, including the placement of trees into the kerb extensions to narrow the roadway.

Council has previously provided an opportunity for landholders and business owners who will be directly affected to discuss the plans one-on-one.

The plans will be available for public comment from Thursday 12 February and can be viewed on Loddon Shire Council’s website www.loddon.vic.gov.au or by visiting the Shire office in Wedderburn.

Comments and submissions relating to the Wedderburn Streetscape Improvement Project will be received up to close of business on Friday 27 March. 

New picnic area for historic distillery site at Wedderburn

At Loddon, we are always encouraging new initiatives to promote our natural environment and rich history.

I was pleased to hear that the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has officially launched new infrastructure to encourage tourists and locals alike to visit the Wedderburn State Forest.

The DELWP has installed new picnic tables, a barbecue and an interpretation sign at Mickeys Historical Eucalyptus Distillery Site.

The idea behind the new picnic area is to highlight the region’s Indigenous and gold mining history as well as its foray into eucalyptus oil production.

Eucalyptus oil was one of Australia’s first export products to England and it was a resource which provided a unique product to the world.

Eucalyptus oil production has been a part of Wedderburn’s history, dating back to around 1902.

Mickey’s site is surrounded by blue and green Mallee eucalyptus and Box-Ironbark trees and was once home to a eucalyptus distillery known as Mickeys.

DELWP has ensured the site is easy to access, with signposts that lead to the area.

Bridgewater to host country market

Loddon Shire Council has given the stamp of approval for the Bridgewater Country Market, supported by the Lions Club of Inglewood, to host its first market.

A market has previously operated in Bridgewater, however ceased a few years ago.

A few months ago, the Inglewood Lions Club approached the community to recommence the market with the hope to stimulate the local economy and attract visitors from outside the Shire boundaries.

A meeting was held with Lions club members, business owners and delegates from local community groups who were interested in helping kick start the project.

A committee has been formed, and the first market is scheduled for Saturday 14 February from 8am.

It is hoped the market will attract people to spend a full day in Bridgewater, visiting the market in the morning and spending the afternoon at local eateries or at the swimming hole.

The Bridgewater Country Market committee applied for a permit to host the first event, and if the event is successful and no issues arise, the committee will apply for a 12 month permit to run the market on the second Saturday of each month for the remainder of 2015.

The group has already attracted a mixed bag of more than 20 stall holders with many from Loddon, while other stallholders are coming from Bendigo and surrounds.

At Loddon, we are lucky to have dedicated community-minded residents who are always looking for ways to stimulate growth in the areas in which they reside.

As Councillors, we urge the whole community to help make the first Bridgewater Country Market a success.

Fair Work to visit Loddon

The Fair Work Ombudsman is commencing the Victorian – Loddon/Elmore – Campaspe Campaign 2015. This campaign has a dual focus of assisting businesses in understanding and complying with Commonwealth workplace laws, as well as promoting the various tools, resources and assistance made available to businesses by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

As part of its campaign, Fair Work inspectors will be visiting a variety of businesses in the area in the week beginning Monday 23 February and will be seeking copies of time and wage records in order to assess their compliance with Commonwealth workplace laws in relation to record-keeping and pay slip obligations in addition to wage rates, including penalty rates, overtime and allowances.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has advised they will work with employers to help them understand and resolve any areas of concern and will provide useful tools and resources to help make compliance easier.

During this campaign employers have an opportunity to specifically seek a visit to discuss any questions that they may have in person.

To request a visit or seek further information about the campaign, enquiries can be directed to Fair Work Inspector Juanita Keenan on 03 6235 9430, or campaign coordinator John Bradbury on 08 8225 8240.