Can you believe that it has been 12 months since the new Council was elected in the City of Greater Bendigo? Whirlwind is an understatement, and personally I couldn't have imagined a better maiden year, I have enjoyed every moment, experience and opportunity to work for our community. It was no exception that this month's ordinary meeting was packed with important items for the Greater Bendigo municipality.
15 Lot Sub Division at 9 Pratts Park Rd, Strathdale (including construction of a dwelling on each lot and removal of native vegetation).
I supported this application, which is the first before council that has had to proactively respond to the newly introduced Bushfire Management Overlays that impact on many areas across the Greater Bendigo Municipality. Therefore a key consideration was whether the site is suitable from a bushfire safety perspective. The application is required to consider the newly introduced Bushfire Mangement Overlay (BMO) but as all lots in this proposal are over 300 metres, a dwelling requires a planning permit under the BMO.
this application is required to consider the newly introduced Bushfire Mangement Overlay (BMO)
The BMO will require bushfire protection measures to be provided with the application when planning permits for the dwellings are sought in the future. Such measures will include the required Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) rating that the dwelling has to be constructed to and the amount of defendable space.
With this subdivision application, I acknowledge that local residents have some valid concerns over the potential impacts of the proposal, including on existing neighbourhood character and traffic impacts and the Eppalock Councillors are cogniscent of increasing concerns regarding road conditions by locals and users of McIvor Hwy through to Junortoun. We have been actively advocating with local State members and VicRoads in relation to future planning for McIvor Hwy in particular with increased development at Domain Village and Catholic College sites. This proposed subdivision adds further support to the case of a review of the speed limit which currently sits at 90km following Pratts Park intersection.
On all fronts, the assessment of this application appropriately addressed considerations to my satisfaction and I agreed that that the subdivision would provide modest housing growth within the area, whilst aiming to be respectful of neighbourhood character.
DRAFT Plan Greater Bendigo
I was pleased to support the recommendation that COGB endorse the draft Plan Greater Bendigo Implementation Plan for the purposes of community consultation and to then subsequently receive a report summarising received community and stakeholder feedback and any changes to the documents following this consultation.
One of the first items that the new Council had before them was the formative stages of an aspirational piece of work that now has shaped into a consolidated list of 18 infrastructure projects which aim to transform the liveability of Bendigo over a 30 year time period.
Acknowledging that the final selection of projects have been based on a variety of factors including scale, transformational impact, whether the project could be delivered as part of core business, and whether the project is consistent with State and Local policy.
Four structured key goals of Plan Greater Bendigo (An adaptable and innovative economy, healthy and inclusive communities, a stronger and more vibrant city centre and a resourceful region) being a strong fit with the Greater Bendigo Community Plan.
The draft implementation plan presents a collective vision for how the delivery of infrastructure will be used to not only support population and employment growth, but in better connecting and creating healthier more inclusive communities.
there are specific projects included in the draft, which are of direct relevance to our rural communities.
I am particularly pleased that there are specific projects included in the draft, which are of direct relevance to our rural communities. These include connectivity for small towns and neighbouring regional centres, and ‘community hubs’ that I believe are integral for the future liveability and success of rural towns. As Bendigo grows, easily commutable distances to and from our rural towns will provide access major services and employment in Bendigo, yet will provide lifestyle opportunities that attract new residents, families and talent to the Greater Bendigo region. This is where I believe community hubs will be more and more integral to liveability. We anticipate this more and more as people will chose to escape metropolitan areas in search for the enviable lifestyle that greater Bendigo offers.
DRAFT Public Toilet Strategy
It is no secret that Public Toilets are an important infrastructure item that contributes to the liveability of our municipality. I actively campaigned to ensure the Heathcote Visitor Information Centres public toilet amenities were considered a priority in my election campaign, and along with all Eppalock councillors was delighted that our efforts were rewarded for the community in that the 2017/18 budget process included a $300K allocation for their rebuild.
An audit was conducted of all public toilet facilities to determine the condition of each facility within the municipality to gather key property condition data and to review the current maintenance and cleaning schedules.
The results highlighted major inequality in the condition and quality of public toilets, as well as parts of the municipality that did not have adequate or any public toilet facilities at all.
The draft strategy provides an overarching framework and strategic direction for the design, construction, maintenance, renewal and future upgrade of public toilets across Greater Bendigo, and although Councils are not obligated either statutorily or legislatively to provide public toilets, they are still high on community expectations to not only be provided, but be clean, safe and easily accessible.
in order to get a great outcome for public toilet facilities into the future.
I encourage the community to take a look and provide feedback on the draft strategy and be part of the discussion in order to get a great outcome for public toilet facilities into the future. The plan is an easy to read, user-friendly document that is well laid out. It outlines a series of findings and recommendations, all of which require careful examination and I stress to not jump to conclusions and that none of these options are at the point of being adopted, rather they are included as examples of public toilet models in use across the world. It is important to understand the benefits and limitations of a wide variety of options.
Naming of New Aquatic Centre at Kangaroo Flat
After an interesting and emotional debate played out predominantly online with social media and letters to the editor. I supported the adoption of Gurri Wanyarra Wellbeing Centre as the permanent name for the new complex in Kangarood Flat and was pleased to support the recommendation to commence community consultation on a proposal to rename the Bendigo Aquatic Centre located on Barnard Street, Bendigo to become ‘Faith Leech Aquatic Centre’ to appropriately recognise Faith Leech’s Olympic achievements. I thank the submitters who took time to outline to the Office of Geographic Names their interest in the naming proposal (eg. if your address is affected or you have a personal link with the place and/or name, and the reasons why the name is not appropriate, including how it is considered to not comply with the Naming rules for places in Victoria).
I look forward to the opening of Gurri Wanyarra meaning ‘Kangaroo Water Hole’ as an appropriate recognition of the regions indigenous history and language. A wellbeing and aquatic facility we can all be proud of, experience and connect with. A place for old and new, locals and visitors and for our region.
Out and About this Month:
The next Council meeting is on Wednesday November 15, 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.