Lake tree treat

Benalla Ensign - - Front Page - By Si­mon Rup­pert

Be­nalla Ru­ral City Coun­cil has taken a page from Gee­long’s play­book by au­tho­ris­ing a float­ing Christ­mas tree on Lake Be­nalla.

How­ever, one big dif­fer­ence is the en­tire Be­nalla Ru­ral City Coun­cil bud­get for dec­o­rat­ing the town is about three per cent of the $500 000 Gee­long paid for its tree.

Cr Wil­lie Van Wer­sch said on top of this the ac­tual amount used from the $15 000 Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tion bud­get was very lit­tle.

‘‘To be hon­est I didn’t even know about the one in Gee­long, it was just an idea that was some­thing a bit dif­fer­ent,’’ Cr Van Wer­sch said.

‘‘And hardly any of the bud­get for it came from the money coun- cil has put aside dec­o­ra­tions.

‘‘The fund­ing for this comes from the in­di­vid­ual coun­cil­lors in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the ru­ral city and our spon­sors.’’

The eight-me­tre tall tree will be lit up each evening un­til the new year and has al­ready cap­tured the imag­i­na­tion of lo­cal peo­ple with for Christ­mas many pho­tos be­ing posted so­cial me­dia ac­counts.

Cr Van Wer­sch asked to thank all the spon­sors who helped the project come to fruition.

They in­clude Quick Skip, Stolz Fur­nish­ings, Gum Nuts Re­sort, Be­nalla Signs, Ber­toli Auto, Glider City Mo­tel, Brian J Howe Real Es­tate, De­latite Steel and Mitre 10. to

‘‘And I’d like to say a spe­cial thank you to Jeremy from So­lar Coun­try, who has not only do­nated the so­lar, which the tree runs on,’’ Cr Van Wer­sch said.

‘‘He also helped set it up and has driven out at night to get the lights back on when we had a power fail­ure, so I’d like to say a big thank you to Jeremy and his team.’’

Shin­ing bright: Be­nalla’s float­ing Christ­mas tree was il­lu­mi­nated for the first time last week­end. Pic­ture: Bren­den Pad­dock, Lau­rabren Pho­tog­ra­phy

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