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AN EXCITING TIME

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WITH my tongue gently in my cheek I’ll put it out there that there has never been a more exciting time to live in the Yarriambiack Shire.
I think that as a councillor it’s important to emphasise the positives associated with our region.
But it’s not always easy.
In my experience, we as a sector tend to spend a lot more time talking about what we can’t do than what we can.
There is some practicality to this.
Between financial constraints and high levels of regulation, you can sometimes feel surprisingly powerless as a councillor.
So it has been fantastic lately to focus on some positives and what we can do as a small regional shire.
So, what has been going on.
Well, it has rained.
The upside of a relatively undiversified economy is the degree to which a bit of rain can build confidence right across our community.
The recent announcement by Victoria Police about officers being appointed in Minyip and Warracknabeal is a good example of councils’, along with many others, strong lobbying.
Sometimes you know what’s right, stick to your guns and get a result.
Similarly, it is good to hear that State Government has picked up our concerns around the lack of maternity and paternity leave available to councillors.
It’s not a cheery topic, but it was a positive experience to be involved in the recent launch of  Communities of Respect and Equality, or CORE, a plan to address the sad prevalence of violence against women in this region.
Yarriambiack Shire Council continues to be recognised for its leadership as a strong voice in this space and on the interconnected issue of gender equity.
The recent announcement of our access to the Commonwealth Drought Communities funding of $1.5 million was big news in itself, but what I was particularly excited was just how ready we were in terms of community driven projects, and how far I believe that money will go in delivering all sorts of projects across the shire.
Leveraging our relationship with our highly motivated communities consistently produces fantastic results.
Our plans for a Silo Art Trail fit this category too.
Finally, speaking of elections, there is a Local Government one coming up in a few months.
Democracy only works when people have choice.
So hopefully I’ve given you a taste of some of the positives impacts that can come from being on council and I would encourage any of who are interested in making a difference to seek some more information and throw your hat in the ring.
Ray Kingston
Mayor
Yarriambiack Shire

Kingston