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Goroke student building Goroke little desert playspace model
Message from our CEO

The last Month has been extremely busy for the Councillors and Staff at the West Wimmera Shire. The Councillors have attended a number of induction sessions including, internally run sessions, regional sessions and an induction forum facilitated by the Municipal Association Victoria (MAV). In addition to this the Mayor has attended an information and induction program specifically for Mayors that was facilitated by the MAV. 

For some, it probably felt like information overload, but it has provided them with the grounding to tackle the role of Councillor head on and create some networks within the region that will ultimately assist West Wimmera. 

These inductions sessions have also required senior staff to be involved along with their usual day to day tasks but this has enabled good working relationships to be built.
As the year winds its way to an end, it would be easy to reflect on the year just past but I would prefer to focus on what we have in front of us that will benefit West Wimmera. 

The detailed planning for major infrastructure projects such as the upgrade and expansion of the wetlands and fauna Park in Kaniva, the Adventure Play-space in Goroke, the upgrade to facilities at Lake Charlegrark, the restoration of the Kaniva Town Hall and the flood recovery projects will all be positive projects in the coming year. 

Add to these projects the planning for events to celebrate the 150 anniversary of the Aboriginal Cricket Tour of England and the Women on Farm Gathering (which has developed a first class program) and it clearly demonstrates that there will be plenty of activity across the Shire. 

None of these projects could succeed in any way without the enormous support that the Shire receives from the volunteers that give their time freely to ensure project and event success. The entire community is grateful for all that the volunteers provide. 

I would like to conclude by wishing all of the readers of the West Wimmera Wire a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year. In doing so, we should all spare a thought for the people who will be busy with harvest over the period and wish all involved in the harvest all the best and hope that it lives up to expectation. 

Stay safe and enjoy time with your families and we look forward to what 2017 has in store. 


David Leahy
Flood damaged road in Chewynd

Flood Recovery Program

The flood recovery program has begun in West Wimmera with the completion of first submission and restoration works beginning this week.

Whilst West Wimmera Shire Council has been approved for eligible state and federal funding, for much needed restoration of essential public assets including road networks within the shire, the process takes time and your patience is appreciated whilst this program is implemented.

Council will be working closely with Department of Treasury and Finance and VicRoads for a quick turnaround on approval to allow commencement of reconstruction works.

Temporary works will be carried out to ensure the road network is maintained in a safe and trafficable condition until reconstruction crews can complete all restoration works.

In the coming months, especially following the Christmas New year period there will be increased road reconstruction works activity on the local and state road networks within the municipality.

We ask you to please drive carefully and to the condition of the road, especially through work sites. Observe the speed restrictions to ensure your safety and the safety of the road crews delivering the reconstruction works.

During this period regular updates will be posted on the West Wimmera Shire website and Facebook page to inform the community of current and impending road works throughout the shire.

For further information please do not hesitate to contact our project manager Les Edmistone on 0402 166 325 or email

Thank you to the Edenhope Men's Shed for helping us to put our furniture together for the Flood Recovery Project Office. The money raised will go back into the men's shed to help them to buy tools and equipment.

CEO David Leahy thanking the dedicated volunteers

Kaniva and District celebrates International Volunteers Day

On Thursday 1 December,  90 Kaniva and District volunteers including Kaniva College Year 9 students,  came together for morning tea to celebrate International Volunteers Day at Heartfelt Café and Gallery.

Community groups and sporting clubs play a pivotal role in our communities supporting and providing many community services. These community groups and the valuable work they do in in our towns are reliant on dedicated and hardworking volunteers. These volunteers are willing and able to contribute countless hours for the benefit of others.

Volunteering is the corner stone of our rural communities, building community spirit and bringing people together. Volunteering is not only a necessity and of benefit to the person who requires that extra assistance but it is well documented that the actual deed of volunteering creates a great deal of self-satisfaction. Volunteers make up the fabric of a community.   

This year we also hosted special guests from “Ride for Rhonda”.  Charlie and Lachie Hender from Keith, and their crew were riding from Melbourne to Adelaide to raise funds for Brain Cancer Research in memory of their mother Rhonda Kellock. Rhonda was a passionate volunteer in her community and is fondly remembered by many in Kaniva particularly in the sporting community. Collection tins were passed around and a donation was made to the Foundation from the Kaniva Leeor United Netball Club.

The morning tea was a collaborative effort by the Kaniva LINK Neighbourhood House, The Centre for Participation (formerly Volunteering Western Victoria) and West Wimmera Shire Council.

Our communities thrive and survive on volunteerism and West Wimmera Shire Council thanks every volunteer for their contribution.  

Are you an owner-builder? Understand the risks and responsibilities.

What does it mean to be an owner-builder?

An owner-builder is not involved in the building industry but takes on the responsibility for building works or renovations carried out on their own property.

There are both pros and cons to being an owner-builder, and it is important that you understand all of them before making a decision.

Completing a building project as an owner-builder can give you greater control over a project, save on the cost of the builder’s margin and give you a higher degree of flexibility.This can be a highly attractive proposition, whether you are building a veranda, or subdividing your land to build a townhouse.

On the flipside, being an owner-builder also carries greater risks. You take responsibility for the work, both while it is underway and for six and a half years after it is completed as well as the related financing, and you may end up spending more money or time on the project than expected.

If you are considering undertaking a project as an owner-builder, it’s important to be prepared. 

Things to think about before becoming an owner-builder:

•    In Victoria, an owner-builder can only build or renovate one property every five years and must intend to live in the property once completed
•    If the value of the proposed domestic building work is more than $16,000 (including labour costs and materials), you must apply for a certificate of consent from the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) to become an owner-builder
•    If you sell your home after carrying out building work valued at more than $16,000, you continue to be liable for any defective works for six-and-a-half years from the completion of the work
•    You must purchase domestic building insurance before entering into a contract to sell your property. This insurance covers future owners for defective works if you die, disappear or become insolvent
•    You must get relevant planning permits from your local council, and be named as the owner-builder on permits
•    It is your responsibility to ensure that the work meets building regulations, standards and other laws 
•    You must arrange for building inspections as required by law at particular stages of the building work. 

There are several government departments that can provide further assistance.

For guidance on becoming an owner-builder, head to 
For information on insurance requirements, visit 
For general owner-builder advice, go to
Kaniva Community Hub Slab

Kaniva Community Hub

A significant milestone was reached for the Kaniva Community Hub building project last week with the concrete slab poured on Thursday 1 December. 

H & T Kuchel Builders had a very early start preparing for the 26 truckloads of concrete required to complete the first stage of the pour.  This area makes up the main function space, meeting rooms and kitchen, with the veranda and umpires change rooms completed in a second smaller pour the following day.  

The next stage in the project is the installation of the structural steel and this is expected to be completed by early January.  Once this is in place the building will really begin to take shape.

If any members of the public have any questions about the project, they are encouraged to contact West Wimmera Shire Council on 03 5392 7700. 


Care Leavers

It is estimated that more than 100,000 children were placed in care in Victoria between 1928 and 2003. 

Forgotten Australians - a report on Australians who experienced institutional or out of home care as children is a 2004 federal report which reveals neglect, physical and sexual abuse and criminal assaults perpetrated on vulnerable children in care across Australia last century.

These children did not have the benefit of growing up within their own family and some did not even know their family or the existence of other family members (including siblings) until they were adults.

There are services and supports for care leavers (also known as forgotten Australians) and their families that can assist with things like:

•    Professional counselling for care leavers and their immediate families;
•    Support with advocacy, applications, appointments and filling in forms;
•    Referral to community services including health, housing, education and employment services;
•    Search services to help former wards find their records and family members;
•    Legal information about potential compensation claims and support during the claims process;
•    Social support and Activity groups.
•    read about and view images of orphanages, homes and other residences;
•    track down records - where they are, who to contact and what to expect; and
•    find out about key institutions, agencies, public figures, legislation and policies.

For further information or details of specialist service supporting care leavers is available at,-families-and-young-people/care-leavers/forgotten-australians or contact Council's HACC service delivery team on 03 5585 9900 for a hard copy of the supporting organisation. 

Survive the Summer Heat

Survive the Summer Heat

As the weather warms up over the coming days remember extreme heat can affect anybody.

Those most at risk are older people, young children and people with a medical condition. Heat kills more Australians than any natural disaster. Extreme heat can affect anybody

Survive the summer heat with these five simple tips:
Drink more water
•    Drink plenty of water, even if you don’t feel thirsty. 
•    Keep a full drink bottle with you.

Never leave anyone in the car
•    Never leave kids, adults or pets in cars – the temperature can double in minutes.

Stay somewhere cool
•    Spend as much time as possible in cool or air-conditioned buildings.
•    Keep yourself cool by using wet towels, putting your feet in cool water and taking cool (not cold) showers. 
•    Block out the sun at home during the day by closing curtains and blinds. 

Plan ahead
•    Keep up to date with weather forecasts – watch the news daily, check the BOM forecast online or set up an alert on your Better Health Channel app.
•    Schedule activities for the coolest part of the day.
•    Stock up on food, water and medicines.

Check in on others
•    Look after those most at risk in the heat – your neighbour living alone, older people, young children, people with a medical condition and don’t forget your pets.

Recognising heat-related illness

Heat can cause illnesses such as heat cramps and heat exhaustion which can lead to the life-threatening condition, heatstroke. Heatstroke is fatal in up to 80% of cases.

Heat can also worsen the condition of someone who already has a medical issue such as heart disease or diabetes. Most reported illness and death is due to the effect of heat on those who are already ill.

If you or someone you know is unwell call NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 60 60 24 for 24-hour health advice or see your doctor. 

In an emergency, call 000. 
Neighbourhood Safer Place Sign

Neighbourhood Safer Places - Places of Last Resort (NSP)

Dergholm Recreation Reserve has been designated a Neighbourhood Safer Places - Places of Last Resort.

Neighbourhood Safer Places - Places of Last Resort (NSPs) are places of last resort when all other bushfire plans have failed.

Neighbourhood Safer Places - Places of Last Resort are:
•    Locations that may provide some protection from direct flame and radiant heat, but they do not guarantee safety.
•    Not an alternative to planning to leave early or to stay and defend your property; they are a place of last resort if all other fire plans have failed.
•    An existing location and not a purpose-built, fire-proof structure.

NSPs do not guarantee safety
•    In a fire, the CFA or other emergency services may not be present at an NSP.
•    NSPs may not have the capacity to cater for special needs.
•    There will be no support services (food or drink, material aid) or provision for pets.
•    NSPs may not provide shelter from the elements, particularly from heat and flying embers. On extreme and Code Red Fire Danger Rating days, the temperature is likely to be more than 35°C and the heat and sun will impact on those who shelter at an NSP.
•    NSPs will not guarantee a person's safety - they are places of last resort to shelter during a fire front when all other plans have failed.

Things to consider if you decide to shelter at an NSP
•    Safety and survival cannot be guaranteed at an NSP and there may be no support or services provided. NSPs will offer limited protection against radiant heat and embers.
•    Travelling to a place of last resort is dangerous. Traffic congestion, fire activity, accidents or fallen trees may block the route.
•    Visibility is likely to be extremely poor due to smoke.
•    People sheltering at an NSP are likely to experience extreme conditions such as heat, high winds, fire noise, and exposure to embers and radiant heat and may experience breathing difficulties due to smoke and ash.
•    NSPs are places of absolute last resort.

West Wimmera Shire NSPs:
Apsley Recreation Reserve
Dergholm Recreation Reserve
Henley Park Edenhope

For further information visit the Neighbourhood Safer Places webpage on the CFA website.


West Wimmera Shire Holiday Season Office Closure

West Wimmera Shire offices will be closed from 3.00 pm Friday 23 December 2016 reopening at 8.30 am on Tuesday 3 January 2017.

In the event of an emergency contact the shire offices on 03 5585 990 | 03 5392 7700 and follow the prompts to the relevant department. 
Grant Highlight

Closes: 5.00 pm Tuesday 31 January 2017

The Local History Grants Program supports community activities that preserve, record and share the history of Victoria and Victorians.

Grants of up to $15,000 are available for projects that share, preserve and tell the stories local and community history.

For further information on eligibility, guidelines and application available on the
Public Records Office Victoria website.
Community and business directories 

Ensure that your business or community group is:
• informed of upcoming grants
• advised of changes to permits and requirements
• advised of training opportunities
• kept informed of council programs
• promoted to visitors, existing and new residents.

We will be launching our online community and business directories in the coming months so please update your details now.

tact the shire office in Edenhope | 5585 9900 or Kaniva | 5392 7700
Have Your Say | Review of Native Vegetation Clearing Regulations 

The Victorian government has been reviewing the native vegetation clearing regulations and has been consulting with the community and key stakeholders, and has now completed its Review of the native vegetation clearing regulations. The outcomes of the review are detailed in the Review of the native vegetation clearing regulations - outcomes report.

The review outcomes will be delivered through a program of ongoing improvements for those actions that are independent of the Victoria Planning Provisions (VPP) and an amendment to the VPP. The review team has developed the proposed changes using the ideas and views gathered during the consultation process.

For a high level overview of the main changes proposed and information about how to have your say, please read Native Vegetation Clearing Regulations Review - Information sheet December 2016.

We encourage you to visit the website to comment on the proposed changes. Submissions close at 5:00pm AEST on 5 February 2017.

Any landholder who may want to remove native vegetation, which includes trees shrubs and grasses, should contact the Council before undertaking any works. A Council officer will arrange a time to meet with you and inspect the proposed vegetation to be removed and advise whether or not a planning permit is required.

Documents are also available at
23 December 2016

Kaniva Traders Christmas Party & Prime Mover Pull Challenge
Kaniva more....
26 January 2017

Gentsomes Golf Day
Edenhope Golf Club more....

26 January 2017

Australia Day Events
Shire Wide more....
18-19 February 2017

Lake Charlegrark Country Music Marathon
Lake Charlegrark more....

To view the complete West Wimmera Shire Event Calendar visit the upcoming events webpage.
To promote your event on the council events calendar and Facebook page submit your event details on our website or contact Amanda Munn | 5392 7700.

Events submitted to the West Wimmera Shire Events Calendar are also promoted through Wimmera Mallee Tourism on their Facebook page, neighbouring Visitor Information Centres as well as various other publications and outlets. 

Dont miss this great opportunity to promote your event for FREE.
Copyright © 2016 West Wimmera Shire Council, All rights reserved.

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