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WR Council Mayor’s report

Wattle Range Council Mayor & 5THE FM's Rebekah Lowe

Wattle Range Council Mayor & 5THE FM’s       Rebekah Lowe

by S Lowe 5THE FM newsonline WattleRangeNow

Wattle Range Council Mayor Peter Gandolfi spoke with Rebekah Lowe on 5 THE FM on Wednesday 9th October, following the Council meeting the previous night and among  council matters he discussed was, the recent vandalism in the region, new council  policies on rates debt recovery and itinertant traders, lake Bonney opens now after a 30 year closure, drilling at Penola, the Police Remembrance service, opening of the Beachport foreshore and these are included in the following report.

“Given the recent spate of vandalism in George Street, Millicent, I have asked the CEO to investigate placing Council’s concealed cameras in suitable areas within the street to help detect and identify the offenders. The full weight of the law should come down on anyone vandalising public property. The cost of repairs are borne by the ratepayers and in many cases, like the vandalism of trees, the beautification of the town is set back many years. There is no excuse for senseless vandalism.

I’m very pleased the Lake Bonney has now been opened by the State Government to canoes and kayaks. It has been 30 years since the lake was closed to boating following logs stored in the Lake from Ash Wednesday escaping from an enclosure into the body of the lake during a storm. I’m anticipating that once the semi and submerged logs, which may cause a safety hazard, have been removed the Lake will be opened to wind and motor powered boats.

Along with Councillor Dean Burrow, the CEO and myself attended a public briefing evening by Beach Energy. Beach Energy intends to drill two exploratory wells near Penola for shale gas. Both sites are on private property. This first stage does not involve any hydraulic fracturing – commonly known as “fracking”. The meeting was advised that a thorough public consultation process will take place if hydraulic fracturing is planned.

I had the privilege in the past month to officially open the Beachport foreshore redevelopment undertaken by the Beachport and Rivoli Bay Lions club. Hundreds of volunteer hours have gone into the project resulting in an asset built by the community for the community that we can all be very proud of. The Lions Club must be congratulated for this tremendous effort. Council made a $15,000 contribution to the project for the cost of the pavers and provided advice and assistance through our officers in the engineering department.

Along with Council officers, I attended the release of the State Government’s VVT fibre study final report. The report highlights opportunities to value add our forest products and the possibilities for what would usually be regarded as waste. The possibilities are broad ranging from bio fuels to structural products. Industry clusters are now being considered by companies as the next step in pursuing these diversification opportunities.

On behalf of Wattle Range Council, I attended and laid a wreath at the police Remembrance Day service at Mount Gambier.

Last week I welcomed the Adelaide 36ers and the Melbourne Tigers before their exhibition match at the Millicent basketball stadium. I would like to thank the Millicent and Mount Gambier basketball associations and the Mount Gambier pioneers for bringing such a high calibre game to Millicent which attracted a capacity crowd.

In the past month I also attended the Wattle Range photographic exhibition and chose the mayoral winner from the entrants, conducted the monthly Mayor/CEO meeting with ratepayers at Millicent, opened Celebrating Seniors Month and, along with Deputy Mayor Rob Dycer and the CEO, attended SELGA at Naracoorte last week.”

Mr Gandolfi will be live on 5 THE FM – 107.7 with the latest in council news on Wednesday 13th November, following the Council meeting on 8th November.

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