Council Beat: December 5 2023

Wellington Shire Council. Photo: File

The second-to-last ordinary Wellington Shire Council meeting for the year was held on December 5, going for about 37 minutes with no apologies. The last ordinary council meeting of 2023 will be this coming Tuesday, December 19, at 5pm.

Upper Dargo Road capital works

One new project that will be added to the capital works program is road repairs to the Upper Dargo Road, expected to be funded by Emergency Management Victoria.

The road had been impacted by flooding of the Dargo River in October.

Approval for this project has not yet been granted and resources required for the repairs is expected to impact other projects, but this will need further assessment.

Asphalt resheeting contract signed

Council has entered into a contract for the asphalt resheeting of urban streets in various locations throughout the shire.

Wellington Shire Council Mayor, Ian Bye announced the successful tenderer as Cranes Asphalting & Bitumen Sealing Pty Ltd.


Councillor Marcus McKenzie attended the Community Achievement Awards Australia on Friday, December 1. He noted two local organisations made the finals, PavFab (Yarram) and A Better Life for Foster Kids Inc (Sale).

PavFab, owned by Sharee and Paul Wilson, are an engineering and fabrication business that started in 2015 and were finalists in the category of Business Achievement Award.

Councillor McKenize also acknowledged Heather Baird from A Better Lift for Foster Kids – a well known not-for-profit organisation she began in 2014. The organisation received the Regional Service Award.

Cr McKenzie noted that Heather, who shared heartbreaking insights with him, was a foster child herself. She said the rate of foster children in the Victorian system is around nine per cent, but is 14 per cent in Wellington. Wellington is also now experiencing the seventh generation of families reliant on the dole.

Cr Bye acknowledged that the community had to unfortunately endure floods once again recently. He thanked volunteers, council staff, the SES and the emergency services for all their assistance.

Community concerns

Council went through all agenda items in 20 minutes. While there was no online comments to read out, three individuals addressed the gallery.

Christine Timmerman from Alberton spoke about the Gelliondale wind farm and applicable environmental legislation. She noted a number of her concerns regarding the location of infrastructure development within Gelliondale and the impact on the Ramsar wetlands.

Graham James of Gelliondale is a familiar face at council meetings and he has spoken out against the proposed wind turbine construction in the town on numerous occasions. He further noted his concerns around the background noise predictions.

“It could not be more shonky,” he said.

Concerns over Wellington Shire Council’s scheme to replace wheelie bins were featured in last Tuesday’s ‘Letters’ page, and Thelma Keely from Stratford believes the entire initiative is a waste of money.

Thelma asked why her “perfectly good bins” need to be replaced and would like to know how many are being taken away, how many are being replaced and what council is going to do with the wheelie bins.

On another matter, Thelma became emotional as she spoke about an alleged horrific attack of an alpaca across the road from her by two dogs that were running around in Stratford.

“These two dogs ripped this alpaca to pieces,” she said.

She reviewed video footage of the attack and the aftermath, including the arrival of police. She wanted council to be aware of the impact of the attack and asked what they are doing about this, noting it took the ranger two hours to respond to this incident due to other priorities. Cr Bye asked Thelma to pass on her details so a response could be provided.