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Hi reader, happy New Year! It's shaping up to be a busy and productive year in the Peri Urban region. 

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PERI URBAN AGRICULTURE DISCUSSION PAPER

Key government  and industry stakeholders across the peri urban region have been invited to provide comment on the Peri Urban Agriculture Discussion Paper by 10 March 2017. The Discussion Paper has been distributed to fifty organisations and we have received many positive comments on this initiative. Land owners and the community will be invited to comment in April 2017.

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WELCOME TO CR BRETT TESSARI, DEPUTY MAYOR OF BASS COAST SHIRE COUNCIL

Cr Brett Tessari has been confirmed to the PUGRC along with Cr Pamela Rothfield, Mayor. Welcome to the PUGRC.

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FAREWELL TO HELEN ANSTIS, CEO BAW BAW SHIRE COUNCIL

It is with sadness that we report that Helen Anstis will be leaving Baw Baw Shire Council, and the Local Government sector, on 08 February 2017. Helen has been a passionate advocate and participant in the PUGRC. Her wisdom and commitment will be greatly missed by the region and Baw Baw Shire. We wish Helen every success and happiness in …

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CONSULTATION PERIOD EXTENDED FOR NATIVE VEGETATION CLEARING REGULATIONS

The submission period for the Native Vegetation Clearing regulations has been extended for an additional 4 weeks. Submissions now close at 5:00pm on 8 March 2017. For more information go to the Engage Victoria website: www.engage.vic.gov.au/native-vegetation-review or email the review team at nativevegetation.review@delwp.vic.gov.au

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NSW TRIALS NEW AGRITOURISM INITIATIVE

NSW DPI is working with farmers on a two month trial of its innovative agritourism concept Visit My Farm in late summer 2017. Until now, visitors to rural parts of Australia have had no simple way to visit farms unless they have personal connections with farmers. Visit My Farm (VMF), an innovative business concept which aims to strengthen the connection …

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SCHOLARSHIP OPEN TO AGRICULTURE STUDENTS

Applications are now open for the Horizon Scholarship, an initiative of the Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation (RIRDC) in partnership with industry sponsors. The Scholarship provides $5,000 per year for the duration of a student’s university degree. Applications close on Friday, 24 February 2017. The Horizon Scholarship also offers students annual industry work placements, access to industry leaders, professional …

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SCHOOL CROSSING COSTS WIN

Before Christmas the State Government confirmed it would restore its 50 per cent contribution for the school crossing supervisors program from 1 July 2017, in line with a 1993 State and local government 50:50 funding agreement. Councils currently contribute as much as 80 per cent of the program costs – a collective total of $44 million each year. Since the …

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MAV COMMITTEES EOI CLOSES 1 FEBRUARY

Expressions of Interest are being sought for the MAV Committees and Professional Development Reference Group (the MAV Committees). The is calling for new membership Expressions of Interest from Councillors and senior council officers. Existing members do not need to renominate. Expressions of Interest should be submitted to Olivia Boddeus by COB 1 February 2017.  

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CALLING FOR GREAT IDEAS

The Regional Australia Institute has partnered with Prime7 and GWN7 to capture and fund the best ideas from regional Australia. This could be anything from a project that helps young people into local jobs, to an initiative that will attract visitors to your region. Ten lucky finalists, chosen by an expert judging panel, will receive dedicated project development support and …

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NEW EPA GUIDELINE ON BROILER FARM ODOUR ASSESSMENT

The EPA has released a guideline outlining how to conduct and assess an odour environmental risk assessment as part of planning permit application for a broiler farm when required by the Victorian Code for Broiler Farms 2009. View the guideline on the EPA website.

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WOMEN VICTORIA - NEW WEBSITE

A new website, Women Victoria, dedicated to improving the lives of women and achieving gender equality has been launched. The site includes information on family violence prevention, the State’s Gender Equality Strategy, women’s leadership, the Victoria Against Violence campaign, best practice to achieve gender equality, and the Victorian Honour Roll of Women.

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START-UPS IN VICTORIA EVENT - MONDAY 6 FEBRUARY

LaunchVic and City of Melbourne are hosting an event to provide insights into Victoria’s growing startups. The event will feature Andrew Hyde, LaunchVic’s first Startup Community Ambassador, from Boulder Colorado USA, on the key ingredients of a thriving ecosystem. The City of Melbourne will discuss their first Startup Action Plan, and LaunchVic will hold a consultation session where you can …

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AVAILABLE FUNDING

Building Better Regions Fund: Applications are open for this Federal Government fund, which will provide grants to projects in regional Victoria, either for new infrastructure or upgrades under the Infrastructure Projects Stream or community activities with economic and social benefits under the Community Investments Stream. Applications close 28 February. New Energy Jobs Fund open: Councils and not-for-profit organisations are invited …

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