It is very pleasing to begin this column knowing that our local rural sector, mostly, I believe at least, are entering into an above average harvest. At the end of August, the season was on an absolute knife edge. Fortunately, steady soaking rain has fallen in a couple of very timely events.

As I have said previously, our rural regions are currently well placed for a vibrant outlook as we begin to emerge from the grip of COVID-19. Some sort of normal, I believe, is imminent and the terrible limbo we have been forced into will disappear.

Our Shire has signed off on a trial B-Double road access map after many hours of consultation over the last nine or so months with stakeholders of a working group. Well done and thank you to all of you who were involved and contributed.

Council approved, in total, 13 round one business assistance grants to various and varied businesses in the shire to enable them to provide efficient and viable services to their respective communities.

Albacutya bridge is set for demolition on the Wednesday or Thursday morning after Melbourne Cup day. A new dual lane bridge will take its place in the first half of 2022, a nine plus year project.

Plans for the "swimming hole" at Jeparit will be provided to the community very soon now that we have been unlocked.

There will be a focus on refurbishing the car park behind the new Dimboola library to finish off that part of the Wimmera River Discovery Trail.

Our CEO and Council have also assisted the Nhill and District Historical Society to secure tenure of the old Lowan Shire Hall in Nhill.

All in all, I still remain absolutely positive of the direction our Shire and others around us are heading at the moment. I truly believe regional Victoria have some great times ahead.

Enjoy your day.

Cr Ron Ismay