City of Greater Bendigo Annual Report 2017/18
The October 2018 Ordinary Meeting resolved to receive this year's Annual Report. It covers a period from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018 and it is a requirements of the Local Government Act. The Annual Report is an opportunity to communicate internally and externally with staff, the community, government and industry stakeholders regarding the functions, achievements and performance of the City of Greater Bendigo in the preceding year. The Annual Report includes: a report of operations, audited financial statement and an audited performance statement. The report presents information in several user friendly formats. Whether you enjoy the detail or prefer a snapshot and highlights, readers will find the content aligned to the six goals of the Community Plan 2017-2021 and related performance indicators. Download this year's Annual Report here.
Readers will find the content aligned to the six goals of the Community Plan 2017-2021
Heathcote Town Centre workshop
Residents, business owners and interested community members convened at a workshop this month to participate in a design workshop which aimed to reimagine the Town Centre. The Heathcote High Street is a wide reserve (40m) and is almost entirely devoted to traffic and parking. Concerns raised by the community include vehicle speeds (especially trucks), pedestrian and cyclist safety and the general lack of amenity. The City of Greater Bendigo engaged Rim Martin of E+ Architecture to assist with the workshop and invited representatives from Vic Roads and various departments from the City to participate with the community members and traders in the night.
Issues considered at the workshop included traffic calming, landscaping, street furniture, pedestrian and cyclist safety, being accessible to an ageing population and the preferred scale/footprint of new buildings
Issues considered at the workshop included traffic calming, landscaping, street furniture, pedestrian and cyclist safety, being accessible to an ageing population and the preferred scale/footprint of new buildings. The content and ideas generated at the workshop are being incorporated into Heathcote Township Plan work that will be presented to council for consideration and adoption in the coming months.
Rail Trail Tourism
I attended the Annual General Meeting of the Friends of the Bendigo Kilmore Rail Trail and was impressed by guest speakers Margie Joyce and Neil McKinnon. They are experienced cycling tourists who have ridden across Europe and Canada, and they shared their stories (good and bad) on what makes a good cycling trails. It certainly highlighted how we still have so much opportunity to leverage off investment in Rail Trails, and the tourist experience in Central Victoria. Whether that be how we strategically position our accomodation and hospitality offerings, signage, accessibility or how we market additional experiences that capture those not travelling by car or bus.
It was also exciting to hear of a further rail trail funding announcement this month, for a new walking and cycling trail to connect Murchison to Bendigo which will be constructed if The Nationals are elected to government in November. The Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals, Steph Ryan pledged a $2.51 million contribution towards the project. Once built, walkers and cyclists will be able to travel from Murchison and ride or walk all the way to Bendigo via Rushworth and Heathcote.
We still have so much opportunity to leverage off investment in Rail Trails, and the tourist experience in Central Victoria.
Priorities for Planning Strategies and Planning Scheme Amendments
Strategic planning requires thought and process to ensure the workload of projects and amendments to the Greater Bendigo Planning Scheme for the next 4 years is managed appropriately and is in response to community need. At the October meeting of Council a work program was adopted to manage the projects and amendments ahead.
The planning scheme is the legal framework for that sets out the parameters for all decisions that need to be made about land use and development in the municipality.
Planning Scheme Amendments are the process to change that law. They can be proposed by private landowners as well as the City, but all amendments are legally undertaken by the Council, as the planning authority under the Planning and Environment Act.
The ultimate approval for every planning scheme change is the Minister for Planning. Because they change the law of the City they must:
Timelines and workplans for Amendments can only ever be ‘best estimates’ for reasons such as:
In developing the priorities in a clear and transparent manner, an evaluation framework has been developed that considers each proposal against a set of criteria these include:
The next Council meeting is on Wednesday 21st November, 2018 at 6pm at the Bendigo Town Hall, perhaps I might see you there? Or you can tune in via the live broadcast on Phoenix FM 106.7
Yvonne Wrigglesworth is a Councillor in the Eppalock Ward, City of Greater Bendigo Council.