Published on 24 May 2022
Our shire is utterly spectacular at this time of the year is it not! The cooler weather and moist air have transformed the landscape into soft, white blankets across the paddocks and deep cloudy seas in the ranges. It's the perfect moment to encourage friends and family to visit and explore our beautiful region, camera in hand and play host to them with a hearty country meal and a local wine for their efforts at the end of the day.
We have an exciting fortnight ahead at council. Grampians Gatherings 2022, a month-long shire wide arts festival, kicks off in Stawell this Friday evening and will transform the streetscape with projection art and live entertainment. Other events are scheduled for St Arnaud, Halls Gap and Great Western. These events are all free for you to enjoy thanks to funding from the Victorian Government’s COVIDSafe Outdoor Activation Fund 2021.
On the sporting front, two important projects on our Council Plan to do list are now complete: the North Park Netball Courts Upgrade in Stawell and the Lord Nelson Park Multipurpose Sports Pavilion in St Arnaud. These multi-million-dollar facilities have been built with your rates, government funding and a substantial amount of community fundraising.
My commendations go out to everyone who has helped to shape and steer these projects to produce high quality sporting precincts that we can all be immensely proud of. To celebrate, the Victorian Parliamentary Secretary Ms Danielle Green MP will officially open the North Park Netball Courts at 11am on Saturday 28 May. Then, on Wednesday 8 June from 2.30pm to 5.30pm, we will be holding a Community Open Day at Lord Nelson Park. I encourage everyone to join us in these celebrations.
You might have also heard that the Victorian Government made a surprise announcement on Friday, committing $600,000 from their budget to the Navarre Recreation Reserve to help upgrade the facilities and build a new netball court under lights. Council will be working with Navarre FNC to finalise the design and scope of works in the latter half of the year.
If your club or organisation requires funding for a minor project, please look at the Community section of our website as there are a number of grants running currently that might suit your needs and take the pressure off your fundraising team.
From a health perspective, I urge you to consider attending one of the vaccination clinics being coordinated by East Grampians Health Services and other health agencies for Stawell and St Arnaud across the month. Our community is actually quite vulnerable to flu this year after living in relative isolation from each other during the Coronavirus lockdowns.
For those of you who missed the live stream of the unscheduled Council Meeting on Monday, council has approved in principle the proposed Budget 2022-23 and this is now open for submissions from the public up until 20 June 2022. We have also revised the Council Plan for the forthcoming year, and I encourage you to have a read and let us know your thoughts too.
Otherwise, stay tuned for upcoming opportunities to have your say on the draft Local Law and another round of community engagement for the Stawell Tourism Action Plan. We aim to be a council that is continually in contact and responding to its community’s needs.
See you all out and about in our big, beautiful shire.
Cr Tony Driscoll
NORTHERN GRAMPIANS SHIRE COUNCIL MAYOR