First look at new library-gallery plans

In March 2019, the first plans for the library-gallery redevelopment were released.

The building complements the surrounding precinct and uses environmentally sustainable design. The two-storey building features an upgraded library space, two gallery rooms as well as community meeting and workshop rooms. A significant design feature is the spiral staircase topped by a skylight which will intersect the second-floor gallery spaces.

The cultural precinct project received $4 million from the Victorian Government’s Regional Infrastructure Fund.

Construction is due to begin in the second-half of the year. The library will operate at 194 High St while the gallery will explore outreach programs and alternative spaces.

To view the progress of the works, click here.


Wodonga Council announces new CEO

Wodonga Council recently announced Mark Dixon as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Mark Dixon comes from Wodonga TAFE which he joined in 2015 as the CEO and Managing Director. During his tenure, the TAFE has grown to be the most successful regional TAFE in Victoria winning the Australian Large Training Provider of the Year in 2018.

He spent more than 30 years in both the British and Australian Armies with active service in Iraq and Afghanistan and worked throughout Europe and the US.

The appointment was passed at a special council meeting on March 8.

Mr Dixon took up his role with the council on April 23.


New cafe on the corner

High St welcomed a new cafe in March located at 1/135 High St. Corner Cafe Co. offers a wide range of delicious meals, treats and drinks.

Owner Tarshar Baker said: 'Wodonga is moving in a great direction growth wise. If you look back ten yers ago compared to what we see now, we feel it's a great indicator of what to expect for the future'.

'We have spent 12 months enagaging with the community and have modelled our business to meet their demands. We have a vast range of offerings and can cater for those who have allergies and those who don't - all under one roof. We are also constantly changing our dessert options so customers are recieving a different experience everytime they visit'.

Opened Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm, and Saturday, 8am to 3pm. Head down and get a coffee, meal or a sweet treat fix.


Progression for High Street works

Works are continuing with the reconstruction of High St between Banovic Lane and Lawrence St.

Over the past few weeks the underground services including water, storm water, power and irrigation have been completed, along with the pouring of the concrete parking bays. The landcaping works on the west side of the road are nearing completion.

After Easter local residents will see the installation of the centre median strip and the laying of the asphalt. Landscaping works will continue with the installation of planter boxes and paving on the east side of the road.

The Wodonga Major Projects website will provide relevant updates on the project. The map of the works zone and parking map can also be found here. Alternatively, follow the Wodonga Council facebook page for further information.


Activating the city's laneways

Laneways provide opportunities for unique public spaces. Away from the hustle and bustle of streets and main roads, laneways can offer intimate spaces for pedestrians and further activate the CBA.

Wodonga Place laneway, located between Bendigo Bank and Border Barbers in High St, has recently seen a new mural installed.

The mural is a custom designed piece painted by local artist 'Steady Chameleon' - Xavier Pinard.


Local Business Support Survey Results

Thank you to the 137 businesses who participated in the Albury Wodonga Local Business Support Survey in December 2018.

The survey was designed to help us understand the data, communication methods and services of most benefit to local business growth.

Key themes focused around the need to create additional jobs through the attraction of new business and industry, the desire for increased tourism and major events, fast rail, cross-border collaboration and improved planning approvals.

We will use the findings of the survey to:

  • Inform economic development strategies, projects and initiatives.
  • Improve the quality of experience our business customers have when working with us and the support services and information we provide.
  • Explore Invest Albury Wodonga partnership opportunities to strengthen our relationship with the business community and the benefits of the campaign.
  • Inform our ongoing collaboration with key business / industry stakeholder organisations.
  • Improve our engagement and ongoing communication with the business community.
  • Inform our advocacy to other levels of government.

Ultimately, the survey responses will provide us with a way forward to foster essential dialogue with local business, to be more informative and work with businesses to ensure the best possible local economic development.

A full report of the survey findings is available here.


Pilot program to combat food waste

Victorian Hospitality businesses will benefit from the new 'Love Food Hate Waste' pilot program.

The Labor Government is investing $500,000 in the pilot program to help hospitality businesses reduce the environmental and financial impacts of food waste.

The free program is available to all Victorian hospitality businesses and provides practical resources like food waste tracking tools, action plans and online support, to help them take meaningful steps towards cutting food waste.

For more information, visit lovefoodhatewaste.


Cycle Tourism Investment in Victoria’s High Country Region

The Victorian Government is now inviting Expressions of Interest for unique and innovative proposals that will complement and enhance cycle tourism in Victoria’s Ride High Country. In doing so, the Government is seeking to gain an understanding of market appetite to invest in cycle tourism in the region and identify a range of projects that will contribute to the region’s growth.

Projects that fall within the following categories have been identified as integral to supporting forecast cycle tourism growth in Victoria’s High Country region:

  • Accommodation: Unique experiential accommodation; bike hotels; contemporary backpackers’ accommodation, large integrated resort facilities and hotels;
  • Bike Hubs and services: Expansion of existing businesses or the creation of new businesses to enhance the cycle tourism experience and create an active precinct where cyclists gather;
  • Food and beverage operators: New or expanded food and beverage offerings that are cyclist friendly and located at strategic sites to enhance the cycle visitor experience, e.g. along rail trails, at trail heads or bike hubs;
  • Tour operators: Bike hire, shuttle, transport and tour companies that improve existing and/or provide new cycling related services that enhance the cycle visitor experience and increase regional access and dispersal; and travel operators capable of increasing interstate and international visitation through partnerships with local businesses;
  • Other enabling projects: Projects that enhance and support: The Ride High Country value proposition; the visitor experience; and aim to grow cycle tourism visitation to the region.

Any submissions must be made by Friday, May 17, 2019.

More information can be viewed here.


Include your business on the City Heart website

As part of the city centre revitalisation, the council has launched a website to showcase those businesses located within the Wodonga Central Business Area (CBA).

The City Heart website includes information on each individual business, along with upcoming events, latest news, and dining and shopping opportunities in the area. It will also complement the City Heart app, providing accessible and up-to-date information for locals and tourists alike.

The website offers a fantastic free promotional opportunity for local businesses, but we need your help to make it come to life! We’ve put together a short online form that will provide us with the relevant information.

From there, our Communications and Marketing team will draft the profile for you to approve before the website is made public. Together, we’re working towards creating a vibrant city heart for Wodonga.

Click here to complete the form to submit your business.


Shopfront Improvement and Access Fund

The City Heart Shopfront Improvement and Access Fund forms part of Wodonga Council's Business Support during the City Heart Revitalisation works.

A total of $150,000 is available over two years ($75,000 for stage one and $75,000 for stage two of works).

The fund aims to:

• Encourage and facilitate shop owners, operators and landlords to improve their buildings through facade upgrades, thereby improving their presentation to the street.

• Encourage and provide a mechanism for shop owners, operators and landlords to ensure all people can access the front of their premises (regardless of ability or disability).

The fund will include two activity streams:

• $1:$1 matching grants up to $3000 for shopfront improvements; and,
• $1:$1 matching grants up to $3000 for internal all abilities access improvements within private buildings that cannot be corrected by the public realm (that is, the footpath) works.

For more information, download the brochure and online application form.


Tips for tax time

With tax time soon upon us, the Australian Taxation Office have prepared a range of resources to assist individuals and businesses who need to lodge their tax returns. The resources cover information about work-related expenses and some common general deductions, such as travel or laundry expenses.

To learn more about lodging your tax return head to the ATO website.


Boost your business

The latest round of funding is now available for Victorian businesses. If successful, your business can get a voucher worth $10,000 - $50,000 in exchange for services that will build your capability in three main areas:

  • Market Engagement
  • Innovation
  • Business Capability

The Boost your Business Vouchers support Victorian businesses to become more productive, employ more people, improve market access and in general, increase their scale, diversity and profitability.

Round 3 of Boost your Business is now open and closes at 11.59pm on Sunday 12 May 2019.

The vouchers are funded through the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions. For further information and to confirm your eligibility click here.


Energy efficiency in business workshop

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) will be hosting a hume region energy workshop for businesses.

The workshop will look at energy costs and a range of practical and technical solutions businesses have used to minimise their energy consumption.

When: Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Time: 7.30am to 9.30am

Where: The Cube Wodonga, 118 Hovell St, Wodonga.

For more information and to register for the workshop click here.


Building Statistics

The total value of building work in Wodonga this quarter was over $27m, and 193 building permits were issued, with 650 permits valued at over $99m issued so far in the 2018/2019 financial year.

Building activity again remained constant in the January - March quarter with the domestic market still having a strong impact.

Some of the larger jobs issued in the January-March quarter have included:

  • New classrooms at a school in Wodonga with a value of $1.65m;
  • A new child care centre in Baranduda (stage 2) valued at $986,000;
  • A new child care centre in Wodonga (stage 2) valued at $980,000;
  • A shop fitout in Wodonga, valued at $190,000;

Find here the building statistics.


Planning Statistics

The planning department issued 25 permits in the January to March 2019 quarter and released 47 residential lots.

Read all the planning statistics.