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Message from our CEO

On Monday 15 August a story appeared on the Age newspaper website naming West Wimmera Shire Council as not complying with new regulations pertaining to the adoption of a reviewed Councillor Code of Conduct. Unfortunately, the wording of the article lead the reader to believe that Councillors were in serious breach of the Act and likely to lose their qualification as a Councillor by 1 September. The tone of the article was also extremely strong and could easily be classified as aggressive. 

Throughout the entire process, West Wimmera Shire Council exercised absolute confidentiality as per instruction from Local Government Victoria and was extremely disappointed to see the story appear on the website prior to council receiving anything formally from the government. 

Since the story has broken, I would like to take the opportunity to provide some facts on the matter. 

Whilst it was suggested that Councillors did not sign a declaration agreeing to abide by the code of conduct, we feel that this is an interpretation of the regulation that differs from ours. Councillors all signed the actual code of conduct document when it was adopted on 2 June 2016 (one month prior to when it was required to be signed). The code of conduct was then lodged on council's website as per the regulations. Councillors also nominated a Principal Conduct Officer and sent the endorsed document to Local Government Victoria asking if there were any component of the process that was incomplete or they required any further information, to please contact us to assist. 

Council was asked to provide an individual signed and witnessed declaration from each Councillor by 5 August, which was complied with. Despite this, West Wimmera was named as part of a report provided by the Local Government Investigations and Compliance Inspectorate as not complying with the regulations. 

At no stage did any of the Councillors from West Wimmera Shire Council refuse to sign the document. In fact, all Councillors were photographed undertaking the signing. Unfortunately this was classified as an endorsement and not a declaration; this led to council being named in the report. This interpretation of the regulations and the subsequent way that media statements were worded, is a slur on Councillors from across the state who all dedicate their time willingly for their respective communities. Many of these Councillors have represented their communities for decades and to challenge their integrity is considered to be poor politics. West Wimmera’s circumstance was purely an administrative misjudgement and should not place Councillors in the media spotlight in the way that it did. 

On a more positive note, a delegation of Councillors and senior staff from council attended a number of meetings with state ministers and their chief advisors at Parliament House on 16 August. The meetings enabled some very positive discussions to occur on topics such as waste disposal costs for rural communities, the continued feasibility of a pipeline to the south of the shire, C Class roads, community and public transport and police numbers and short term fill in roles. Following the meetings, a number of projects will be undertaken with state government agencies to hopefully deliver an improved level of service in a number of areas.  

We also took the opportunity to raise a number of issues that we believe the state needs to advocate for on our behalf to the federal government, such as fixed-line NBN coverage in Kaniva and surrounds and freight routes that service the Port of Portland.  

Kind regards

David Leahy
Lake Charlegrak Children in water with canoe

Regional Local Government Resource Sharing Initiative

Five Wimmera Mallee Councils (Hindmarsh, Horsham, Northern Grampians, West Wimmera  and Yarriambiack) have been working together for the past 12 months to deliver a Shared Services Geographic Information System (GIS) for the region.

The Community Map was officially launched on Monday 22 August at Horsham Rural City Council with a demonstration by Michael Evans from Yarriambiack Shire Council.

West Wimmera Shire Council staff began using this new platform when it went live on 8 August; the many benefits of the shared service GIS system assisting to streamline work processes and enable greater access to accurate information.

The community can access the Community Map from Monday 21 August via the Community Map logo on the home page of the Council website.

The Community Map enables residents to access a variety of property/location specific information such as:

* Waste & recycling
* Street view
* Land parcel 
* Planning zones and overlays
* Councillor information
* School bus route
* Rural waste route

Visit the Community Map and take a look.
Concept Image Kaniva Cutural & Tourism Precinct

Wimmera Emergency 
Management Team

The Wimmera Emergency Management Team (WEMT) was created as a result of the Wimmera Emergency Resourses Sharing Program (WEMRSP) partnership agreement between Horsham, Hindmarsh, West Wimmera and Yarriambiack Councils.

The team is responsible for supporting each council in meeting their emergency management  obligations under various legislation, policy and guidelines. This is done through research, investigation and support that ensures council's have current emergency management planning in place, with a a standard approach for all councils.

The program enables collaboration and resource sharing between councils and support to emergency service agencies in an emergency. The team is funded by each council’s allocation from the State Government Municipal Emergency Resource Program (MERP), co-contributions and other funding sources.

Further information and contact details for the WEMT available on the Wimmera Emergency Management Team webpage.

The WEMT is an excellent example of council collaboration and resource sharing that provides effective emergency management to their communities.
The team is hosted by Horsham Rural City Council | 18 Roberts Ave | PO Box 511 Horsham VIC 3402.

Belonging, Being, Becoming 

At Goroke Kindergarten the children are effective communicators with a sense of belonging.

They are connected and contribute to their tadpole project. They are being scientists, environmentalists, researchers, artists and biologists.

They are confident and involved learners. Extending from interest in farming, the children have been planting crops and vegetables. They are becoming knowledgeable about their local agriculture through gardening, discussions and stories.


Successful Lost in the Bush 2016 Weekend

Once again the community came together over the weekend of 13-14 August honouring the 152nd anniversary of the iconic Lost in the Bush story.
Often thought of as the last great bush tale of human survival and resilience, the story of the three Duff Cooper children – Isaac (9), Jane (7) and Frank (3) - who ventured into the Wimmera scrub to collect broom for their mother and became lost on 12 August 1864, has captured the hearts of the Wimmera community.

The celebrations began with a group of 15 enthusiastic people, including descendants of Peter McCartney, braving the foggy winter morning at the Nhill Race Course to see the riders begin the re-enactment of McCartney's ride. The overnight ride through the bush reenacted the heroic ride Peter McCartney made in 1864, to fetch trackers from Mt Elign to assist in finding the lost Duff children.

The riders began by passing through the Barengi Gadjin smoking ceremony, conducted by Rooney Grambea, in a bid to wish them well on their ride to Nurcoung, the first stage of the 55 kilometre ride.

Apsley man Richie Foster gathered 7 horse folk from across the state to complete the reenactment. The riders travelled through the Little Desert National Park, where they spent the night before continuing onto the Jane Duff Monument on Sunday.

The riders were greeted by large cheers from the crowd as they emerged from the scrub, finishing the final stage of the ride. The celebrations continued with Ron Marks, Barengi Gadjin, conducting a Welcome to Country before the crowd enjoyed a community BBQ. An inspirational performance by the Wotjaboluk Dance Group entertained the crowd, as they celebrated this iconic bush story, an early example of collaboration between Aboriginal and pioneering Australians.

"It was a great weekend celebrating this important event in our history. We finished this years celebration in true 1800's style with everyone gathering around the Jane Duff Monument for a group photo, as was the tradition after a large picnic in that era," said West Wimmera Shire Council CEO David Leahy.
Baby Chickens

Check your Tradie

Home renovations? Home maintenance? Council recommends you take a couple of minutes to check that your tradesperson/s is registered with the relevant authority.  

When engaging a tradesperson/s ask them to show you a copy of their Victorian registration with the relevant Victorian authority. A Victorian registered tradesperson/s will provide you with a certificate on completion of the work which ensures the work has met all Victorian building and safety compliance regulations.

Employing Victorian registered tradesperson/s for any home renovations, ‘owner/builder’ or maintenance works will ensure the work undertaken meets state building and safety compliance regulations, whicg in turn will protect your rights as a consumer. Further information available on the Consumer Affairs Victoria website.

All registered Builders and Plumbers are listed on the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) website.

All registered Electricians and Gas Professionals are listed on the Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) website.

Your registered tradesman will be able to assist with any applicable permits required from council, however further information regarding building and planning permits is available on the building and planning webpages of the council website.

Water over a road
Streetscape Scheme 

The West Wimmera Shire Streetscape Scheme is now open, with applications closing 11 September 2016. Get your application in.

Is the facade of your business looking a bit tired?

Is your buiness accessible for all?

The West Wimmera Streetscape Scheme program is aimed at encouraging business owners and operators to upgrade the appearance of the front of their buildings and to improve accessibility to premises. The program is currently available to businesses operating in main street localities.

The purpose of the program is to beautify the region's local shopping precincts by improving the streetscape. It also encourages businesses to make it easier for customers to access their shop.

Through providing financial assistance, the program aims to develop a stronger partnership between council and business owners and operators, in making overall improvements to the main streets.

Application form and guidelines can be downloaded from the Streetscape webpage on the council website.

For further information on the program, please contact Kellie Jordan | 03 5392 7700 |
Do you have a clear picture of how your business is performing financially?

Even if you’re not a ‘numbers person’ learning to interpret your financial reports can highlight strengths and weaknesses of your business and give you great insights on how to improve your profit.

During this 2-hour workshop a small business expert will step you through small business financials, in simple, easy-to-understand terms. Join a small number of local businesses in your area and learn how to identify the warning signs and take a proactive approach to managing your business financials.

Using real-life examples you will develop the skills and confidence to navigate your balance sheet and profit and loss statement to assess the financial health of your business.

Small Business Victoria is partnering with the West Wimmera Shire Council to provide these free workshops in your local area.

To complement the Workshops, Small Business Victoria is also offering your business a free and private one-hour follow-up session to assist you with your business finances, so you can relax and get on with doing what you love.

Attending a workshop is free and bookings are essential. For more information and to book visit (and search for event id: E17992 for Kaniva and  E17993 for Edenhope) or call 13 22 15.
Workshop Details Edenhope:
Host: West Wimmera Shire Council
When: Tuesday 13 September 2016
Time: 6pm to 8pm (dinner will be included)
Where: West Wimmera Shire Council, 60 Elizabeth Street, Edenhope
Cost: Free (booking are essential)

Booking Options:
Internet: (event id: E17993)
Phone: (03) 5392 7700

Workshop Details Kaniva:
Host: West Wimmera Shire Council
When: Wednesday 14 September 2016
Time: 6pm to 8pm (dinner will be included)
Where: West Wimmera Shire Council, Kaniva Chamber, 25 Barker Street, Kaniva
Cost: Free (booking are essential)

Booking Options:
Internet: (event id: E17992)
Phone: (03) 5392 7700
Is this workshop for me?
This workshop is for any small business operator who wants to stop relying on others, or leaving the financial success of their business to chance. If you want a safe and comfortable environment to ask lots of questions and demystify your financial statements, then this is the workshop for you.

You will learn how to:
  •  Make sense of what your profit and loss statement is telling you
  •  Confidently read a balance sheet – it’s easy
  •  Assess whether your business financials as good as your competitors
  •  Identify the five financial warning signs and solve problems before they happen
As part of the Financial Health Check workshop you will receive:
  •  A free one hour business mentoring session and advice tailored to your individual needs from one of our expert small business advisers
  •  A comprehensive and easy to use Financial Health Check workbook and reference guide to help you develop your pricing strategy
  •  Valuable networking opportunities with new and emerging business owners in your area
  •  A follow-up pack containing the workshop slides, hints and tips and links to further resources.

This is one of 23 practical workshops facilitated by business experts and offered by Small Business Victoria helping small businesses entrepreneurs to achieve their goals for over 10 years.
Mentoring Details Edenhope:
Host: West Wimmera Shire Council
When: Wednesday 14 September 2016
Time: Options available when booking
Where: West Wimmera Shire Council, 60 Elizabeth Street, Edenhope
Cost: Free
Bookings: Book into a Mentoring session by talking to Kellie at West Wimmera Shire or your Workshop Leader during the event.
Mentoring Details Kaniva:
Host: West Wimmera Shire Council
When: Thursday 15 September 2016
Time: Options available when booking
Where: West Wimmera Shire Council, Kaniva Chamber, 25 Barker Street, Kaniva
Cost: Free
Bookings: Book into a Mentoring session by talking to Kellie at West Wimmera Shire or your Workshop Leader during the event.
Have you completed the 2016 Youth Survey yet? There is still time; the survey is open until Wednesday 31 August 2016.

Young people are important. They have exciting ideas, skills and knowledge to contribute to our community, along with a unique and interesting perspective. At the West Wimmera Shire Council we recognise this, and are keen to create an environment where young people are valued, and encouraged and supported to make these contributions.

We are asking all young people, between ages 12-25 to complete a survey about their experiences living in West Wimmera. The results of this survey will be compiled and then inform a Youth Strategy.

Further information and the survey link is available on the
2016 Youth Survey webpage.
Your Council Your Vote

Residents and ratepayers of West Wimmera Shire Council will be asked to vote in the local council election this October.

Electoral Commissioner Warwick Gately said voters should not forget about having their say in the election.

‘Councils are an important tier of government in our democracy, and the election is a chance for people to have their say on issues like local roads and footpaths, parks and recreation facilities, planning and building regulations, and libraries and community centres’, Mr Gately said.

‘The obligation to vote in your local council elections is just as significant as voting in State and Federal elections.

‘I strongly encourage everyone eligible to vote at the 2016 council elections to make their voice heard—it’s your council, your vote.’

Compulsory voting provisions apply, and you may be fined if you don’t vote.

To help voters remember, the VEC has introduced the free
Vic Election Alerts service, a quick and easy way for all Victorians to remember what to do during the 2016 council elections. Signing up takes less than a minute and messages can be received via email, text message or both.

West Wimmera Shire Council Election Timeline

4.00 pm Friday 26 August | Entitlement date
People must be enrolled with the VEC or local council by this date to be eligible to vote or stand as a candidate.

9.00 am Thursday 15 September | Opening of nominations
Anyone wishing to stand as a candidate can submit their nomination to the Returning Officer from this time and must do so in person at the election office.

12 noon Tuesday 20 September | Close of nominations
Anyone wishing to stand as a candidate must submit their nomination to the Returning Officer by 12 noon (32 days before election day).

Tuesday 4 to Thursday 6 October | Ballot packs are mailed
Ballot packs are mailed to every enrolled person in contested elections in a random order over three days.

6.00 pm Friday 21 October | Close of voting
Completed ballot material must be in the mail or hand delivered by this time.

12 noon Friday 28 October | Deadline for inclusion of postal votes
The Returning Officer can accept postal votes received up to this time into the count. Only votes posted before the close of voting can be accepted. 

Monday 31 October  - Friday 4 November | Results declarations
Results for all elections will be officially declared during this period.

Further information available on the Victorian Electoral Commission 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
3 September 2016

Inspirational Evening with Gill Hicks
Kaniva Hall more....
13 September 2016

VEC Candidate Information Sessions
Kaniva Council Chambers more....
14 September 2016

VEC Candidate Information Session
Edenhope Council Chambers more....
17 September 2016

KNT Football League Grand Final
Kaniva Recreation Reserve more....
8 October 2016

James Blundell - Seniors Concert
Kaniva Hall more....
7-9 October 2016

Apsley Alive
Apsley more....
8 October 2016

132nd Annual Kaniva Show
Kaniva Recreation Reserve more....
15 October 2016

Pathways to Harrow -The Final Year
Harrow Hall more....
22-23 October 2016

Windmill Stitchers Exhibition
Kaniva Hall more....
23 October 2016

Harrow Horsemanship Challenge
Johnny Mullagh Recreation Reserve, Harrow 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. 
Copyright © 2016 West Wimmera Shire Council, All rights reserved.

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