February Mayor's Message

First up I'd like to comment on the recently approved Development Application for the $4 million Moulamein Retirement Village. This will almost certainly be the Shire's biggest development this year and has essentially got up thanks to the generosity of two members of the Moulamein Community; Mr Len Flottman & Mr Roy Doran who is sadly no longer with us. What a wonderful, wonderful gesture of community spirit.

A reminder that Wakool Shire Council's draft Local Environmental Plan (LEP) is still on public exhibition following its endorsement from the New South Wales Department of Planning and Infrastructure. Detailed information on the draft LEP is available at the Barham Office or at our website. While some planning controls may not change greatly for some areas, there are other areas where significant changes regarding land development have been proposed, so we would encourage you to provide feedback to the document where appropriate.

Our Engineering team has this month reached a works milestone with the completion of the much-anticipated Wakool Sewerage Scheme. Our staff have been working hard to keep this project on track over the last twelve months in particular and Council is pleased to now have this matter finalised- congratulations to our team on a job well done.  Once again, we appreciate the community's patience with regards to this project- although the process has been lengthy the finalisation of the scheme is a great achievement for both Council and the Wakool Community.

Nominations are also open for our 2013 Business and Community Excellence Awards. These awards celebrate the successes and entrepreneurial spirit of our businesses and community groups and are a great way to acknowledge their achievements. Nominations remain open until Monday March 11 so I would encourage residents to collect a nomination form from our offices or website and show support for our local go-getters through the awards process.

On the matter of the seemingly stalled Swan Hill Bridge proposal we have recently issued an invitation to the new SH Council to come and meet with us and discuss this vital project. We will host this meeting in the coming weeks as we are determined to move it forward. This project is simply too important to the entire region to let it stagnate.

Also on the agenda for this meeting will be the Tooleybuc Bridge; NSW Road & Marine Services (RMS) has recently advised that it will shortly commence the planning process for a new Bridge at Tooleybuc, which will be designed to the latest standard (SM1600) which caters for all high performance vehicles, road trains, Higher Mass Limits (HML), and multiple axle combinations and spacings.  This is an important project for both Swan Hill and Wakool and the local communities - it is most important that we get the planning for the new Tooleybuc Bridge right.

On Council meetings in general I remind everyone that these are open public meetings and I encourage members of the community to attend. It is most important that our actions as councillors are in keeping with the objectives of the community. By coming along you can witness first hand your councillor representing you & your community. 

Finally, it is always pleasing when we receive news of recent births in the shire, but I would like use this forum to congratulate one of our staff members, Katie Byrne and her husband Chad on the recent arrival of their son Eddie. Katie is a much valued member of staff and we wish the three of them all the best.

Cr Andrew Douglas