You may have already seen the news that Geographic Names Victoria gazetted the renaming of Jim Crow Creek to Larni Barramul Yaluk, the home or habitat of the emu earlier in the week. It’s taken some time, but finally there is a reconnection to Dja Dja Wurrung culture and language into our landscape. Thank you to all those community members who provided input and feedback into this, to the officers who worked to ensure that the correct protocols and process required to rename roads, features and localities were followed and to both the previous Council and my current councillor colleagues for continuing to support this in line with our reconciliation plan. It’s a great result. A historical reference to the former name will be included in the VICNAMES register and remain part of our region’s history.

The Daylesford Town Hall in undergoing such much needed and essential maintenance and while this is underway Council Meetings including the one on 16th May will be held at the Warehouse Clunes commencing at 5.30pm. The meeting, as usual will be live streamed on the HSC Facebook page. Just a reminder that if you wish to speak at the Council meeting you need to get your request in by 10am on Monday 15th May. The agenda is now on the Council website. Agenda items include three planning matters, the quarterly financial results, and the adoption of the domestic animal management plan, which, in response to community feedback, includes the introduction of a dusk to dawn cat curfew from the 1st of July.

Earlier in the year Council changed the process in regard to planning applications. Applicants and objectors can address Council a short time before the application comes to Council. This provides an opportunity for negotiation that can address objectors concerns before the actual decision making and has worked well to date as shown last month in the final decisions around the Middleton Field development.

You may have already heard of Future Hepburn, a once in a generation opportunity to consider and plan for what we want our towns and rural areas to be in the next 30 years. The Agricultural Land and Rural Settlement Strategy and the Creswick Structure plan are already underway. The structure plans for the remaining towns including Daylesford and Hepburn, Glenlyon, Clunes, and Trentham will be starting this May. You will shortly be receiving a letter explaining how you can participate. Please read the letter and think about what you want. It’s a chance to protect what we value, to guide appropriate development and improve liveability, to consider what we want Daylesford and Hepburn Springs to look like in 30 years. What sort of businesses and economic development do we want? What housing and what sort of housing design? Importantly, what facilities and services do we need to plan for to ensure that people want to and are able to live here with access to health, recreation and education services as well as employment opportunities?

Finally, Council is supporting community led projects to protect our biodiversity with Biodiversity Grants of up to $5000. Applications close on 5th June. Details can be found at Boosting biodiversity in our Shire Hepburn Shire Council

You can also have input into shaping our waste policies by completing the survey at Hepburn Shire Waste Survey | Participate Hepburn . The survey closes on 9th June.

I can be contacted at or on 0408793941 if you have any Council related issues.


Lesley Hewitt is the Deputy Mayor of Hepburn Shire and an elected councillor for Birch Ward.

Councillor Columns are a regular feature in The Wombat Post. We offer this space as an information channel from Council to the community. Councillor Columns are not subject to editorial review by our editorial committee but are published as we receive them from our elected Councillors.