A large crowd gathered on Australia Day to listen to guest speaker, Paralympian Tanya Huebner, and acknowledge recipients of the Rotary Club and Yarriambiack Shire awards. It was a great pleasure to present Ian Penny with the shire’s citizen of the year award. Ian has been an active and dedicated member of many local and district organisations and held leadership positions in most of them. Our shire’s young citizens of the year were Tanaya Zanker and Shawn Pendlebury who were recognised for their volunteering roles particularly with youth and sporting groups in Warracknabeal. The event of the year went to Warracknabeal’s 150th celebrations.
Councillors have met for their first meeting of 2018. We were soon back into the groove and over the next couple of months will be revising our Council Plan and preparing this year’s budget.
With all six silos now painted, information boards and trail brochures will be the finishing touches. Brim’s silo has had solar lighting installed and can now be viewed at night. A vision well worth the drive.
The Yarriambiack Youth Action Council meets each month on council day. As the YYAC gathers at 6pm, members don’t get to meet all of the councilors or officers. Our March council meeting will commence late afternoon to give YYAC members an opportunity to be part of a formal council meeting. It will also give them the chance to tell us the plans they have to establish a Youth Shed.
Yarriambiack Shire is one of eight regional councils that is advocating a return of passenger rail services to Horsham and Hamilton. A feasibility study was completed in March 2017 and it is hoped that this will lead to the government funding a business case to proceed with the project.
The Western Rail Project Group has a website (www.westernrail.com.au) and is encouraging residents to log on and relate their travel experiences. The more case studies gathered, the stronger the argument for action.
The team from the Municipal Association of Victoria has met with councillors and officers at Ballarat to discuss issues pertaining to the draft Local Government Bill that will be presented to Parliament this year. The key measures that could impact on our council include the electoral structure and do we have to plan for four-year budgets and have community vision statements 10 years in advance.