Councillors encouraged to open minds to change

Councillors encouraged to open minds to change

An elected member of Wattle Range Council believes his fellow councillors should open their minds to change.

Councillor John Drew made this observation when he debated his successful notice of motion to the February monthly council meeting.

An officer’s report will now be prepared for the council on ways to increase the use of volunteers in the Wattle Range area, particularly but not limited to, the Visitor Information Centres at Millicent, Beachport and Penola.

Cr Drew’s motion also requires the report to include ways to support the adjacent Millicent National Trust Museum during times when the Millicent Visitor Information Centre cannot be staffed by paid Wattle Range Council staff.

The centre and museum were closed last Boxing Day and New Year’s Day at the height of the tourist season as paid council staff were unavailable.

Cr Drew said he was aware that volunteer numbers were declining and he was looking for the staff report to present ideas about improving the involvement of volunteers.

“I am looking for a way forward with options for the Millicent National Trust Museum,” Cr Drew said.

“Along with the swimming lake, the museum is the key tourist attraction in Millicent.”

Development services director Emma Clay said there could be opportunities for retiring workers at the Kimberly-Clark Australia Millicent Mill.

“The mill has an ageing workforce and we are having discussions about the transition from the paid workforce,” Ms Clay said.

She said the volunteers who could open the Millicent National Trust Museum would need to be supervised by paid council staff.

Cr David Walshaw said the Beachport National Trust Museum was a good example of such a facility being successfully run by volunteers.

Earlier in the meeting, there were other unrelated discussions about volunteers and the staging of the Australia Day breakfast at Kalangadoo each year.

The Kalangadoo Lions Club caters for the Sorby Adams Ward function at the Riddoch Memorial Institute.

Ward councillor Deb Agnew said council should investigate the possibility of rotating the Australia Day breakfast at the three other towns in the Sorby Adams ward at Nangwarry, Mount Burr and Glencoe.

In reply, Ms Clay said such a probe was undertaken a few years ago but there was no interest from any community groups in hosting it.

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