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A message from the Mayor

A message from the Mayor

This week I have been in Canberra with Deputy Mayor John Katis and CEO Dean Miller at the National General Assembly of Local Government. This conference offers a great chance to learn about what other councils are doing, and to meet with Federal Government ministers and advisers.

We were fortunate to meet with an adviser to Immigration and Border Protection Minister Peter Dutton to discuss the recent immigration raids in Robinvale, issues associated with seasonal workers and new arrivals, and citizenship testing. We also spoke with an adviser to the Infrastructure and Regional Development Minister Warren Truss about the Tooleybuc bridge replacement.

Finally, we met with Brendan Nelson, a former Federal Minister and now Australian War Memorial Director. We talked about opportunities for Council to build a memorial in Robinvale marking the 2018 centenary of the Battle of Villers Bretonneux. We hope to work with Robinvale community members to make this happen and I look forward to bringing more detailed news to the community as planning progresses.

Welcoming new citizens

Looking to the week ahead now and on Monday I will have the honour of conducting a ceremony in Swan Hill where 16 people will become Australian citizens. They have originally come from China, England, India, Mauritius, New Zealand, Pakistan, and Phillipines and Sri Lanka. Cr Katis will conduct a similar ceremony in Robinvale, also on Monday, for six people, originally from China, India, the Phillipines and Vietnam.

It seems that each time I do one of these ceremonies, we welcome more and more new citizens. Committing to citizenship is a huge step for the people involved, and I want to congratulate them for taking it. Our local communities also come out winners, with these new citizens adding to the wonderful cultural diversity of our region.

New intersection a focus

On a final note, I want to mention the work to install new traffic lights at the McCallum and Campbell streets intersection. Because so many of us use this intersection, it’s important for motorists and pedestrians to be cautious, to obey signs and follow any instructions from traffic control staff. We will have a much safer and easier to use intersection once work is complete.

VicRoads will have the intersection plans on display at the Town Hall for the next couple of weeks if you want to call in and have a look. And if you haven’t already, take a drive along Curlewis Street, where nine bottle trees removed from the clock tower intersection have been replanted. They replace the sugar gums that were removed in March due to ill health.