Mayor Marg Attley chats with residents in cafe
GETTING to know the residents of Mansfield a little better, Mansfield Shire mayor Marg Attley holds regular ‘Café Conversations’ at various venues around town – and this week it was held at the Witches Brew.
The conversations around a café table are open and honest with a full range of topics being brought up.
Cr Attley said this was a chance for her to get to know residents, many of who are new to the district, and to hear concerns.
At last Thursday’s Café Conversation some nine people attended a morning tea and although many of the topics have been discussed before residents were brought up on developments.
The Great Victorian Rail Trail kicked off the talks with suggestions on how to attract more people to use it and a few minor changes that could be introduced.
Crossings at major roads was one point of concern with cyclists crossing without looking properly.
The rules are that cyclists must give way to motorists and should enter the crossings carefully.
That conversation ended with an invite for the mayor to attend the next meeting of the Friends of the Great Victorian Rail Trail on Thursday, March 13, where representatives from the Victorian Rail Trails Association and the ‘Friends’ group from Heathcote will be attending.
Rifle Butts Road came under discussion in regards to the extreme build-up of fire fuel and the dangers during this current fire season.
Cr Attley explained that no clearing of this roadside would be possible but a ‘clean up’ may be, as this particular road is governed by State Government laws.
She advised that if a bushfire inquiry was called following this summer’s devastating fires then residents could make a submission in regards to removal of hazardous fuel from roadsides.
Despite Mansfield Shire having its full quota of mobile towers, complaints were heard from Barjarg residents regarding the lack of internet and phone services, and the strength of the service when available.
One resident said she was trying to operate several businesses from her home but was frustrated with the internet coverage to the extent she often travelled to a friend’s home to carry out her work.
And after the recent major power outage, Cr Attley said the mobile towers only worked for some 12 hours after which the backup power goes out.
She advised the resident to contact member for Indi Helen Haines as the internet service was an issue she might be able to help with.
Other issues to be raised included the renaming of Mt Battery to Beolite, to which Cr Attley said a full report would be tabled and discussed at the council meeting on February 18.
The other contentious issue was that of a convenience restaurant proposed for town to which the resident was in full favour saying it will give young kids employment, training and ‘if people don’t like it then they don’t have to eat at it’.
Again Cr Attley said she expected a full discussion to take place on this matter at the March meeting of council.
And lastly several people spoke on the parking of a caravan in Collopy Street which had been partly obscuring the road for more than five months.
Two of the women said council officers had replied to complaints saying they had looked into the matter but could do nothing – despite the fact that these residents believe it will cause an accident one day because of the position it is parked in.
Cr Attley made the promise to look into the matter further.