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A message from the Mayor

A message from the Mayor

We’ll soon be able to start work again to preserve the historic PS Gem at the Pioneer Settlement.

Heritage Victoria has just announced $500,000 through its Living Heritage Program to undertake major structural work on the paddlesteamer.

A heritage shipwright will be employed to improve the Gem’s hull and reduce leakage, and we will make improvements to signage and interpretation of the Gem’s history and its important role along the Murray River.

The Settlement plays such an important role in preserving our region’s history. Funding like this helps us do this work well, and maintain the heritage values of important objects like the Gem.

Robinvale levee gets funds too

There was great news for Robinvale last week too – we have received funding to build the new town levee bank.

I would like to thank and congratulate the Robinvale community and local Councillor John Katis for their patience and continued lobbying to get to this point.

The $710,000 in funding has come from the joint State and Commonwealth National Partnership Agreement on Natural Disaster Resilience. Council will contribute more than $500,000 to complete the project.

The new levee bank will be built from Higgins Road to Smythe Road, and drainage in the surrounding areas improved too. It will reduce the risk to the residential area in times of high river and flood, replacing the existing informal levee.

Now that we have the funding, the real work starts. Council officers will finalise designs, and before any work can start, will have to obtain multiple permits, including those related to Crown Lands and some regarding native vegetation.

We will keep you updated as planning progresses, and will have information sessions for the community as we get closer to construction.

Solar farm all set to go

The third piece of great news was confirmation of the $32 million, 19MW solar farm at Blackwire Reserve, west of Swan Hill. Work will start next month with the first power expected to be produced early next year. About 60 jobs will be created during construction.

Other solar farms are already confirmed in our municipality – the 80MW farm at Bannerton and the 100MW farm at Wemen. And Council is discussing solar farms with at least one other developer interested in our region.

Our draft Economic Development Strategy, which is now out for public comment, includes an aim that our region be recognised as an Australian leader in solar clean energy facilities. Having this site at Blackwire confirmed is another great leap towards that.

Congratulations to Woorinen footy
Finally I would like to congratulate the Woorinen Football Netball Club on the opening of its new clubrooms.

The club has done a phenomenal job to fundraise and to build their new clubrooms after the fire that destroyed their former rooms in 2015. I wish you all the best of luck at your well-earned celebration tomorrow.