Mayoral Column 9 March 2015

Published on 09 March 2015

RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride

Council is looking to partner with community groups and businesses to ensure the Shire benefits from a large economic windfall, when the RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride passes through the municipality on 1 December 2015.

The average spend per rider is $35 per day, a potential shared income for Loddon businesses and community groups of up to $133,000.

We are encouraging interested locals to attend a meeting this month, which will help us pave the way forward with our planning and ideas.

At Loddon, we recognise that events like the Great Victorian Bike Ride quickly stimulate the economy.  This event brings in outside dollars that we wouldn’t normally receive.

This event will not just benefit Inglewood, we want to make sure that every business across the Shire has the opportunity to benefit from this economic driving force.

We will make sure every business and community group has the opportunity to set up a stall in Brooke Street to sell or promote their items to riders and their support team who are passing through the region.

For this to be successful it heavily relies on a whole community approach, from both businesses and community groups.

More than 3800 people will pass through the Shire during the bike ride. Along with the instantaneous economic boost to the Shire, we want to engage with these tourists and get them to return to Loddon.

A meeting will be held at 7pm on Tuesday 24 March at the Inglewood Recreation Reserve pavilion.

For more information, or to register your attendance, contact the Loddon Visitor Information Centre on 5494 1257.

Council shines as it lights the region

Loddon Shire is expected to achieve a saving of in excess of $30,000 per year in its electricity costs, after replacing more than 500 street lights with energy efficient alternatives.

The Council joined a consortium of 16 local governments across north, west and central Victoria last year, to commence the replacement of 23,000 mercury vapour street lights with energy efficient Light Emitting Diodes (LEDS).

Work crews have visited the Shire and installed the new environmentally friendly units.

The new lights will save more than 70% in running, maintenance and replacement costs, making them a great choice over their predecessors.

The consortium of councils was successful in obtaining a federal government $5.1 million grant under the Community Energy Efficiency Program. The councils funded the gap, with the project costing in total $11.5 million.

Loddon Shire Council had previously looked into the idea of replacing its lights, to significantly reduce the cost to its ratepayers. However, the sheer size and scope of the project would have cost ratepayers in excess of $400,000. The partnership between the councils has significantly lowered the cost to less than $130,000, an immense saving for Loddon.

Growing our tourism network

The Loddon Valley is a growing tourism industry, with a multitude of attractions including farm-based cottage industries, accommodation and eateries, with the majority operated as small businesses.

To further develop the region, Council is calling on the community to think strategically about marketing opportunities across the municipality and wider region.

We are proposing a meeting to establish a Loddon Valley Tourism Network. The network is an opportunity for businesses to come together, to discuss and develop tourism opportunities across our municipality.

The network would be for businesses directly and indirectly involved in tourism.

The first meeting will be held on Tuesday 17 March between 6.30pm and 9pm at the Loddon Visitor Information Centre.

To attend the meeting, register by contacting the Loddon Visitor Information Centre on 5494 1257 or email ssteel@loddon.vic.gov.au.

Boort opens its doors

Boort will throw its doors open this Saturday, to raise funds for the Boort Murray to Moyne cycling team and Boort Business and Tourism Council. (14 March)

Boort businesses have joined together for the initiative, in the hope residents and tourists alike will come together to  aid its fundraising efforts.

From 10am to 12.30pm, Simply Tomatoes will open its gates to offer a tour of its three manufacturing operations, a stroll along the gardens and a morning tea. Aussie Wool Quilts will showcase its wool bedding and wheat and wool therapeutic heat pads. The morning tea and tours are by donation at 479 Parkers Road, Yando.

Between 12.30pm and 2.30pm, residents and tourists can explore the local shops and museum before venturing on to John and Sonia Piccoli’s beautiful property.

Between 3pm and 4.30pm, the Piccolis will showcase their remarkable Spanner Sculpture Garden. The tour will cover two acres of beautiful gardens with a wonderful array of birds, including rare macaws and the world class sculptures that have been designed and created by John, made entirely from spanners. The Piccoli tour is at 1314 Quambatook Road, Boort, with a $5 entry fee.

Before heading home, visit Salute Oliva between 4pm and 5.30pm at 5 Templeton Drive at Boort. The boutique olive grove on the edge of town is run by Swiss couple Peter and Marlies Eicher. The couple will share their journey from engineers to successful organic and eco-friendly olive farmers. Entry is by donation with the tour and tastings included.

This is a wonderful initiative that allows people to have a new experience, all while raising funds for Boort Murray to Moyne team and the Boort Business and Tourism Council. I encourage people to spend the day in Boort and take in all that this town has to offer.