As your local Councillor, I put our communities’ needs front and centre.
How I voted
The following is why and how I voted on items at the May 2017 ordinary meeting of Council:
Lansell Crest Planning Scheme Amendment and Development Plan.
This has been a high profile matter, with 101 submissions received. I supported the Council’s referral of this Planning Scheme Amendment to an Independent Panel and Advisory Committee to consider all outstanding submissions. The Lansell Crest site is located at 39-51 Lansell St, East Bendigo. Adjacent to the Bendigo VicRoads office, Bendigo Kangan TAFE, Bendigo East swimming pool and East Bendigo Bowling Club. Established residential properties are opposite the site in Lloyd and Lansell Streets. The planning scheme amendment seeks to alter the Development Plan Overlay to complement the Greater Bendigo Residential Strategy 2014. It proposes to delete the cap on dwelling numbers (currently 65) and seeks a Development Plan to be approved proposing 104 lots, ranging in sizes from 85m² to 350m², with a variety of dwellings of two, three, four or five bedrooms that are single, double or triple storey. The layout plan includes two open space parks, landscaping, nature strips, car spaces in each dwelling and a main link road accessible by Lloyd or Lansell St.
described as a litmus test of Council strategies and State policies.
I supported the recommendation to refer to an Independent Panel because this amendment is what I described as a litmus test of Council strategies and State policies. These policies and strategies have been developed to ensure Greater Bendigo responds effectively to increases in population, contained urban sprawl and creates amenity of our suburbs that promote active living, social connectedness and reduces isolation and an over reliance on cars to commute short distances. This site is the first of Greater Bendigo’s ‘key development sites’ to be considered under the recently completed Compact City Policy and Residential Strategy. Its outcome will be defining for the community in residential planning going forth.
White Hills & East Bendigo Heritage Study – Planning Scheme Amendment
I supported the referral of this Planning Scheme Amendment to an Independent Panel, following the recently completed Heritage Study.
8 Halter Court, Junortoun – 2 Lot subdivision and removal of vegetation
After inspecting this site with the other Eppalock Councillors, I moved a motion to approve the development plan and issue a permit for the sub-division with a specific restriction placed in the conditions to create a tree preservation/building exclusion area so as to protect the retained vegetation from future removal or impacts from building and works. I supported the creation of a smaller lot in this proposal, as there is precedence of lots smaller than Development Plan Overlay 4 occurring in subdivisions in the immediate vicinity of Halter Court, so this sub-division would therefore not be out of character. Furthermore, the vegetation that was proposed to be removed would not be detrimental to overall environmental effect. However, disappointingly, the motion was defeated 3-6 when it came to voting.
72 Marong Rd, West Bendigo – Demolition of Dwelling and Outbuildings & Construction of Dwelling
I voted against the recommendation, which was to establish a position of refusal at VCAT. I wasn’t convinced that the intention to realign the dwelling (demolition is required due to extremely poor condition) to the road frontage would result in a loss of heritage significance of the place. However, the motion was supported by a majority of Councillors and was carried.
Cycle the O’Keefe & O’Keefe Marathon
I thoroughly enjoyed participating in the first ‘Cycle the O’Keefe’ event, held as part of the O’Keefe Marathon weekend. As a family, we rode from Axedale to Heathcote on a crisp Autumn afternoon and were rewarded with hot soup and scones from the Heathcote Community House volunteers at the finish line. The Marathon event on Sunday was action packed, as over 150 participants took part in a variety of events including the quarter, half and full marathon event along the O’Keefe Rail trail from Junortoun to Heathcote. It was also the second year the popular Ekiden team relay event was held. Well done to all the tireless volunteers who assisted in making the event weekend a huge success.
Meeting with Redesdale & District Association
The Mayor, Cr Margaret O’Rourke and I met with the members of the Redesdale and District Association to hear and discuss local community priorities and opportunities to strengthen the township.
Heathcote RSL Anzac Day
It was an honour to lay a wreath on behalf of the City of Greater Bendigo at the Heathcote RSL Anzac Day Service and march along the Main St of Heathcote.
Heathcote Pony Club
I met with enthusiastic residents of Heathcote who were interested in reforming a local pony club. The positive meeting resulted in the formation of a committee and I am looking forward to hearing of progress of a reformed Pony Club in the community.
Meeting with Residents of Domain Village, Junortoun
Eppalock Councillors met with residents of the Domain Village and listened to concerns facing residents in relation to traffic along McIvor Hwy and drainage issues resulting from continued development of the adjacent sites.
Peppercorn Park Equestrian Facility
We also met with members of the Peppercorn Park Committee of Management to discuss potential future site improvements to support user groups and develop toilet facilities for O’Keefe Rail Trail users. The Eppalock Councillors will consider the proposals being developed by the Active Communities officers to incorporate in a future budget bid.
What else is happening?
Bats & Rosalind Park
Many residents have been contacting Councillors regarding the increase in bats (Grey-headed Flying Foxes) residing in Rosalind Park. The park is a very important asset to the community and City of Greater Bendigo. Council is committed to do everything in its power to ensure it is maintained to a high standard. Council is aware that bat numbers have significantly increased and is currently working with DEWLP (Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning) Officers to monitor the population. Grey-headed Flying Foxes are of national significance, classified as threatened wildlife and protected are under the Environment Protection and Biodviersity Conservation Act 1999 (Commonwealth), the Wildlife Act 1975 (Vic), and the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (Vic). Council has increased its cleaning regime in the park and is having the paths serviced daily by the street cleaning crew.
Parks staff are also cleaning any debris made by the bats daily.
Council is currently in the process of engaging an experienced external expert, who will advise Council on ongoing management options for the population. Council is also hopeful that the onset of cooler weather will see the population naturally decrease to a more manageable number.
New Chair for CLLM
This month I have stepped down as Chair of Community Leadership Loddon Murray. Due to increasing Council commitments, I felt this was a good time to hand over the reins of this great board. I do have one year remaining on my term as a Director on the Board, which I look forward and to, as well as supporting the newly elected Chair, Anita Dickons.
The next Council meeting is to be held on Wednesday June 21, 2017 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.