If you are one of the 674 business operators in the Swan Hill and Lake Boga areas, I encourage you to give us your thoughts on the special rate for marketing and business development.
In January, we will advertise our intention to declare the special rate. This is the rate that Council collects and then forwards to Swan Hill Incorporated to use for marketing our region and for business development.
I want to reassure the business community that Council will not make a decision on the rate before we have the views of those who pay it. We want to hear directly from those people, whether they are in favour of the rate, against it, or whether they have ideas for change.
The notice will be published in The Guardian, on Council’s website and will be sent directly to each person who would pay the special rate. So please keep an eye out for it after New Year, and get involved in the conversation.
Bromley Road possible sale
On Tuesday afternoon, following vigorous debate, Council decided to ask the Robinvale community for their views on the possible sale of Council-owned land at 71-77 Bromley Road.
As you would know, this proposal has already created some mixed responses in the community.
But I want to reassure the Robinvale community that there is still a long way to go, and that you will have opportunities to have a say.
Council will not make any decision on whether to sell the land, or not, until we have received and considered input from the wider community.
If Council eventually decides to sell the land, it will be sold through a public sale process.
And the successful buyer will likely have to apply for a planning permit to develop a commercial business on that site, which would require a public comment process too.
Speaking broadly, any development can have both pros and cons.
But whatever we do as a Council we do it with our communities’ interests at heart.
We have already discussed this proposal with local representative groups – REBA, RIG and the Friends of Bromley Road. And we will consider all public comments when they come in.
I would also like to thank the group of Robinvale residents who took the time to travel to Swan Hill on Tuesday to see and hear the debate about this issue at our December Council Meeting . It was great to see you showing support for your town, and I hope you can provide us with your views as part of the consultation in 2019.
Boga a potential home for pony club
I want to thank the Lake Boga community members who recently joined us to discuss the future use of the Lake Boga Sporting Complex.
About 30 people were there to discuss the possibility of relocating the Swan Hill Pony Club to Lake Boga, and to form an equestrian centre to be used by multiple clubs.
There was strong support for the proposal, which is great news.
Council officers will now draw up a report with detailed designs, costings, lease options and other information before Councillors make a formal decision on the plan. There will also be a further round of consultation, allowing the community to respond in writing to the plan.
I am pleased though that we are on the way to a new home and some certainty for the pony club, and the possibility of a new facility for the Lake Boga community.
Iconic building in the plans
As we go into our Christmas break, Swan Hill residents can be assured of exciting things to come in 2019 and beyond.
At our Council meeting this week, Councillors chose a site on Monash Drive as the location for an iconic new building to house the Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery, Visitor Information Centre, Pioneer Settlement entry and a new interpretive centre.
This proposed building creates so many opportunities – for our community, our visitors and our economy. I can’t wait to see how our funding application to the Federal Government goes, and how the next round of building design progresses. We expect to know the outcome of our application by March.
Call to finish Manang line
At Tuesday’s meeting, Council also agreed to seek a meeting with Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan to discuss concerns about the delivery of the Murray Basin Rail Project.
It is essential that as part of this project, the Manangatang rail line is standardised, that there’s a minimum speed of 80 kmh and axle loads of 21 tonne so that local farmers can efficiently move produce and remain competitive.
Merry Christmas to all
Hard to believe isn’t it? It’s Christmas again and the end of 2018.
I want to wish everyone living in our wonderful municipality a safe and happy Christmas. And I hope to work with you in 2019 to continue making our region a great place to live, work and raise a family.