Adoption of the Greater Bendigo Toilet Strategy
This pivotal strategy will guide the future planning and provision of public toilets in the municipality for residents, workers, visitors to the City of Greater Bendigo.
Being one of the most anticipated strategies this council could produce, it is fair to say that it’s a subject matter that touches each and every resident of our municipality. I am not ashamed to once again pronounce my enthusiasm on the matter!
As a result of the draft strategy being released to the public for submissions, 15 formal submissions were received and numerous social media conversations ignited a passion for all things related to public conveniences. I thank everyone who took the time to provide the constructive feedback into the comprehensive process.
I wholeheartedly supported the adoption of the final strategy and to commence the implementation of the actions. There are currently 54 public toilets in the municipality and this strategy has considered each of them.
Because when you gotta go, you gotta go.
I believe the findings and recommendations are important to progress to ensure our public amenities are contributing to our vision to be the World’s Most Liveable Community. They address distribution, design, accessibility and management of public conveniences and provide realistic opportunities for improvement that I am confident our residents will appreciate. This includes location, cleaning schedules, design and signage/wayfinding. Because when you gotta go, you gotta go!
Bushfire Place of Last Resort - Neighbourhood Safer Place (Axedale)
I was pleased to support the designation of the Axedale Primary School oval at 81 High Street Axedale as a Bushfire Place of Last Resort – Neighbourhood Safer Place.
As part of the Emergency Services Legislation Amendment Act 2009 the State Government included the requirement for Neighbourhood Safer Places (which has since been renamed to be Bushfire Places of Last Resort).
as a place to go if all their other plans FAIL
The Bushfire Royal Commission recommends Bushfire Places of Last Resort, be established to provide just that “a place of very last resort” for people in bushfire affected areas, as a place to go IF ALL THEIR OTHER PLANS FAIL so that in this situation people have a local place to go where they have some chance of survival.
The community of Axedale has for an extended period of time expressed the need to have a designated site, and after assessing several possible sites (including the Hall precinct and vacant land on Raglan St) the primary school oval was selected as the most suitable. It must be stressed that the use of the site does not include any of the buildings or facilities and does not require any person/s to be present. People who chose to use the site will do so at their own risk. This will be reflected in all publicity and on signage at the site.
Legislation requires Council to identify, designate, establish and maintain Bushfire Places of Last Resort – Neighbourhood Safer Place, in their municipal district. The role of the CFA is to certify the selected sites against Fire Rating Criteria. The CFA assessment has found the Axedale Primary School oval site to be compliant.
There are currently 10 sites designated in the City of Greater Bendigo.
Consent has also been provided by the Minister for Education James Merlino and the consent has been published in the Government Gazette.
Draft Greater Bendigo City Council Local Law
I supported the resolution that the Greater Bendigo City Council:
1. In accordance with Section 119 of the Local Government Act 1989, Council give notice of its intention to resolve to adopt the Draft Greater Bendigo City Council Community Law in the Victorian Government Gazette and local newspapers in a public notice stating:
a) the purpose and general support of the proposed Greater Bendigo City Council Community Local Law
b) that a copy of the proposed Greater Bendigo City Council Community Local Law can be obtained from the Council offices; and
c) that any persons affected by the proposed Greater Bendigo City Council Community Local Law may make submission relating to the proposed Greater Bendigo City Council Community Law under Section 223 of the Local Government Act 1989.
2. That Council appoint a committee of the whole of council to consider any submissions by persons that request to be heard in accordance with Section 223 of the Local Government Act 1989, and authorise the Chief Executive Officer to set the date, time and location of the meeting to hear submissions.
Local Laws cannot be created without undertaking extensive consultation process. A range of stakeholders and organisations were engaged to contribute to the review and given an opportunity to raise emerging issues, workshop ideas and identify where processes could be simplified to reduce regulatory burden.
The draft Greater Bendigo City Council Community Local Law has been prepared following a review of the City’s Local Law No. 3, 4 and 5. which combines the content of environment, streets & roads and municipal places.
I was pleased to support this draft and that the specific item of 4.2 Designation of smoke-free zones within the municipality has been included to ensure the important and wider ranging supports (in addition to the existence of a local law) that are required to educate and support our community to enjoy areas and or events that are not subject to second hand cigarette smoke, can commence with Council.
Adoption of Plan Greater Bendigo
I supported the adoption of Plan Greater Bendigo. The final plan includes 18 projects which make the Plan Greater Bendigo an important advocacy document to attract public and private sector investment in high priority infrastructure projects.
the potential to fundamentally change the fabric and shape of the city for generations.
The projects support population, employment and housing growth, but if delivered have the potential to fundamentally change the fabric and shape of the city for generations.
Following final consultation and a peer review by Dr Marcus Spiller, Principal Partner at SGS Economics and Planning, the draft Plan Greater Bendigo and draft Plan Greater Bendigo implementation plan, key changes have now been incorporated and include:
It is also important to stress that many of the shorter-term actions with Plan Greater Bendigo are consistent with the Greater Bendigo Community Plan 2017-2021, with the purpose of the two documents is quite distinct.
The Community Plan is the plan of Council and the Community, outlining specific goals and actions across all services that Council provides for the duration of the current Council term. Distinct from this, Plan Greater Bendigo is a long-term strategic document identifying large-scale infrastructure projects which often involve multiple agencies and stakeholders.
82 Neale Street, Kennington - Refusal to issue a planning permit for the demolition of existing dwelling and shed.
I did not support the refusal of this planning permit and unfortunately my alternative motion to grant a permit was defeated 4 votes to 3.
The application sought to be able to construct a family home in a well established residential area on Neale St in Kennington, and this requires the demolition of an existing dilapidated cottage on the site which has been assessed by the applicant’s structural engineer and is deemed to be beyond repair and structurally unsound in many aspects. The uninhabited cottage is uninsurable and is the target of vandalism, and the engineer’s report concludes it cannot be restored without the demolition and replacement of virtually all materials, effectively creating an undesirable replica.
The application was advertised by the way of notice on the site and letters to adjoining and nearby property owners and occupiers, and as a result of advertising NO OBJECTIONS were received.
And though the city’s officers consider the existing miners style cottage makes a valuable contribution to the existing streetscape within Neale Street, on this occasion I did not agree and believe that demolition should have been permitted to enable the construction of the proposed dwelling.
I also disagreed with the report in relation to the proposed dwelling exceeding the scale of surrounding dwellings, particularly the cottage it would replace, and the miners style cottage next door. Scaled streetscape plans provided by the applicant demonstrated the height of the proposed dwelling is consistent with the adjoining dwelling and other dwellings along that street.
I was satisfied that the proposed plan provided an acceptable response to the neighbourhood character of the area and taking into consideration the dilapidated state of the existing cottage I believed this application should have been approved to proceed. However, the motion was not successful.
The next Council meeting is on Wednesday February 21, 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.