Since my last message a lot has taken place within the Northern Grampians Shire.
It was fantastic to have Senator Bridget McKenzie announce the Community Sports Infrastructure Grants while visiting some of our sports facilities and hospitals within the shire. We also had state MP’s Peter Walsh and Emma Kealy join us for a walking tour of the Halls Gap village centre to hear about and see the needs of the town.
It’s very important for us to be able to network and advocate with all levels of government on behalf of our community so we can continue to build our infrastructure within the shire.
As part of this, a delegation led by councillors met with a number of politicians in Melbourne recently as part of our annual advocacy trip, where over a dozen projects were presented to ministers and shadow ministers to try and gain state government support. These included a development of Lord Nelson Park, Halls Gap Heath Street Bridge project, local government sustainability, Great Western Football and Netball Club facilities upgrade, Stawell Regional Health and more.
The Stawell Gold Mine is cranking up again with 65 people now employed and a view to get that to 100 which will provide immediate economic benefits for the wider Northern Grampians Shire community.
We planted the first four trees of the St Arnaud Avenue of Honour restoration project, which was part of a ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the precinct. It was great to have students from St Arnaud Secondary College along to help us with the planting as well as Barry Kearnan, the great nephew of Sergeant William Young, whom the first tree was dedicated to.
It was also great to be able to attend the Municipal Association of Victoria’s Rural and Regional forum, as well as a ceremony recognising veterans who served in the Vietnam War, which is such an important part of our history.
I’ll leave you with an important anniversary, and that is we recently ticked over one year since the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria removed around one million tyres from a stockpile that was a risk to our community had it ever caught fire. It took 380 truckloads and two months to remove the tyres and we can’t thank the EPA enough for their great work in keeping our community safe.