• Loddon Herald

Step up on road funding

By Cr DAN STRAUB


OFF the coat tails of good rain in March, winter crops across Loddon are being sown as we speak.

Farmers across the Terrick Ward are optimistic, but rain is needed again to ensure positive outcomes for this year’s harvest.

There has been renewed excitement around our netball courts and football ovals, as the LVFN League hits the ground running after COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, crowd participation seems strong bringing a much needed boost to our local economy.

With great weather over Easter and school holidays, tourism throughout the Terrick Ward was a buzz.

Family and friends had a chance to gather and celebrate. Campers, woodcutters, fishers, prospectors, motorcycle riders, hunters, all aspects of outdoor bush users had the opportunity to get out and about in our great bush environments.

They were circumnavigating the Loddon Shire and stopping on their travels to spend money in our local towns, like Serpentine.

Property continues to be in high demand across country Victoria and the Terrick Ward is no exception.

Demand outways availability and work is needed to identify possible sites to expand industrial and housing opportunities, without encroaching on productive agricultural land.

All towns in the shire have positive aspects to offer for expansion, but with expansion comes costs, limited funds and resources can be big constraints moving forward.

We need to see a collaboration of private and government agencies continuing to work together, and to see commitments continue from our big industry providers to putting back into the local community.

For our small towns of Dingee and Mitiamo, I have made further contact and met with representatives from Coliban Water to advocate for upgraded water infrastructure and improvements to the towns water supply.

There is a commitment from Coliban Water to improve and re-establish a regular pipe flush to help keep pipes clean and improve pressure, also to look at and improvement their filter system.

Yes, this is a good starting point, but more needs to be done for the long term sustainability of a decent water supply. I will continue to advocate for a more permanent solution.

Local volunteers are the backbone of our small communities and I thoroughly enjoy the time I spend working with our varied committees across the shire.

The work of community volunteers is what shapes your towns and organisations and puts forward future vision to work towards.

Community engagement is where I can hear first hand the issues, the wants and the needs of locals, this is paramount to getting your voice heard and I thank all volunteers for their time.

And lastly, with an increase in road traffic from goods transport, tourism and population increases, our road infrastructure comes under demand.

There are differences in road classification which form a list of priorities for funding, this sees a lot of our VicRoads managed roads which crisscross the Loddon Shire being neglected and under funded.

We need a better rural roads budget and a 100 per cent commitment from the State Government and Regional Roads Victoria to keep up their end of the bargain to provide a safe road network.

More needs to be done.


* Cr Dan Straub is Terrick Ward councillor for Loddon Shire.



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