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Council Plan 2013-2017

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Updated 2014/2015

Greater Bendigo -working together to be the most liveable regional city in Australia


Acknowledgement of Country The Aboriginal people of the area encompassed by the City of Greater Bendigo are the Dja Dja Wurrung, Taungurung and Ngurai-illam Wurrung language groups of the Central Kulin nation.

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Council and staff of the City of Greater Bendigo Council pay their respects to the Traditional Owners and Elders, who continuously retain their spiritual and custodial connection to their country.

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Executive Summary Each Council Plan commences a new chapter in the book that is ‘Greater Bendigo’. Just as in a book there is continuity with a past and a clear link to the future and the next chapter. This chapter of the Greater Bendigo story promises to provide many opportunities and challenges for our community. Bendigo is the major regional centre for northern Victoria and southern NSW and the third largest urban area in Victoria. It is a vibrant and culturally enriched city renowned for the lifestyle and opportunities it provides for residents and visitors.

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Greater Bendigo has a population forecasted to reach 111,110 in 2014. Our continued rapid population growth, that is expected to increase to 145,608 by 2031, provides both challenges and opportunities for the City of Greater Bendigo. Opportunities because the increasing population is evidence of confidence in the bright future of Greater Bendigo, it means more services will need to be provided to meet the population growth, more employment happens as many jobs are now about supplying services to people, and the municipality can sustain more diverse facilities and services. Challenges, because such a large and rapid population increase places consequent demands on future planning and infrastructure development, and maintenance appropriate to meet the needs of the residents and workforce. The changing face of the City will, in itself, be a challenge that people who have lived here a long time will need to adjust to. Some things cannot remain the same but refusing to adapt to the increasing population is not an option either.

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These significant challenges are an important reason that the City of Greater Bendigo commissions a wide range of research and other professional advice to enable Councillors and staff to make well-informed, economically and socially sound, and sustainable decisions for the future. In the period ahead, Council is supporting significant future planning, especially with reference to residential and transport infrastructure and learning and employment opportunities. A wide range of information and data is being used to inform these major decisions that will affect the nature of our municipality. Council has made a commitment to conduct diverse and broad community consultation at all stages in the development of new strategies to add to the body of advice.

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The long term view taken by this Council, and set out in this Council Plan, has two main themes: the first is a strong undertaking to complete detailed planning in important areas including transport, residential and economic development including advocacy for access to communications technology, in preparation for the continued increase in population. The second theme is the need for consolidation and concentration on asset management, following a period where there have been a number of major new initiatives. A priority on completion of previously agreed priorities and maintenance of existing, essential infrastructure is paramount in the next period. Council has also made a strong commitment to ongoing resource efficiency, especially in areas such as water, waste and energy. The region must cope with and adapt to changing weather patterns. A secure water-supply for an increased population is important, as is waste reduction and efficient waste management. Agricultural areas will be further challenged by dryness and increasing temperatures. Many people in our community expect the Council to be leaders in role-modelling practices that reduce our use of resources of all kinds. The Council Plan enables directors and managers to plan staffing budgets and staff workloads. It is the basis of major periodic reporting to Council, community and other levels of government. Council recognises it has a responsibility to keep community members informed about its intentions and activities. The Council Plan is explicit in outlining the 2


planned community engagement activities in the future and it expresses the benchmarks that have been agreed as indicators that the vision and objectives having been achieved. Council Vision Greater Bendigo - Working together to be Australia’s most liveable regional city. What is liveability? A Liveable city needs to present well, be well maintained and there needs to be a high degree of satisfaction in living in the city. The McCaughey Centre at The University of Melbourne has defined liveability as reflecting ‘the wellbeing of a community and comprises the many characteristics that make a location a place where people want to live now and in the future.’ This definition has been widely used by government and researchers in Victoria.

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The aim to be the ‘most liveable’ city has to be based on having certain measurable comparable qualities and attributes. While there may be variation in what people think about when a place says it is highly liveable, it clearly needs to possess certain attributes or qualities. Measuring liveability is to use information about particular items where the City’s record or performance can be directly compared with other cities and where the progress of the city can be measured over time. In the Council Plan the Strategic Objectives and strategies for the year outline how significant steps towards achieving the Greater Bendigo Vision for the future will be achieved in the period 2013-2017.

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Council Values

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Council has set a number of key liveability indicators that will provide the benchmarks for success and to document progress. These, along with the indicators set by the State Government are included in this Council Plan.

Council wants the community to continue to have reason to be proud of the city and will do this through:     

Transparency - Information about Council decisions is readily available and easily understood; Efficiency and effectiveness - Council provides services based on evidence of need and demonstrates continuous improvement in the delivery of services; Inclusion and consultation - Council uses a range of engagement strategies to ensure community members can understand and take part in discussion that informs the development of new strategies and actions; Clear decisive and consistent planning - In a rapidly growing municipality, Council undertakes to plan effectively for our long-term future; Respect for community priorities and needs - Council will advocate for improved services for community members and will consider community impact and feedback the decisions it makes.

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About Greater Bendigo The City of Bendigo is located in the geographic centre of Victoria; about 90 minutes’ drive north of Melbourne. Greater Bendigo has an estimated population of over 110,000 and covers almost 3,000 square kilometres of the central Victorian landscape, including smaller towns and villages such as Heathcote, Axedale, Huntly, Marong, Elmore, Goornong, Neilborough, Sebastian, Woodvale, Raywood, Mia Mia and Redesdale. The Aboriginal people of the area are the Dja Dja Wurrung, Taungurung and Gurai-illam Wurrung language groups of the Central Kulin nation. Traditional Owners and Elders continuously retain their spiritual and custodial connection to their country. Nationally, most regional cities are experiencing rapid growth. There are many advantages in terms of employment cost of living and quality of life that attract people to settle in these centres.

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Greater Bendigo is experiencing growth at a rate faster than the state average, and this rate of growth is expected to continue. In responding to this trend the Victorian state government has provided some significant support to assist with the development of infrastructure through the Regional Cities Victoria initiative. The ageing population and the implications of this have been widely anticipated across many local government settings, but unlike many other locations, Greater Bendigo is also experiencing a population ‘hump’ in the larger than expected proportion of the population who are young adults. This is a fortunate situation for the future in that the anticipated population growth will be likely to ensure its economic growth, sustainability and vibrancy as a regional centre into the future. In late 2013 the state government launched Plan Melbourne, a strategic plan for metropolitan Melbourne. The state has identified that the major regional centres should accelerate their population growth as part of a ‘state of cities’ initiative that would see some of the population pressures on Melbourne reduced.

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Greater Bendigo has a diverse and progressive manufacturing industry base and this has ensured its resilience in recent times of economic challenge. But a great deal of advocacy is being undertaken to ensure Greater Bendigo is best placed to take advantage of new developments and funding opportunities to ensure the ongoing liveability, vitality and sustainability of the whole municipality. A prime example of this is the development of the greatly enlarged Bendigo Hospital a $630m development. Bendigo will strengthen its role as the major medical facility outside of Melbourne when the Hospital is completed in 2016. Diversifying and strengthening the economic base will continue to be an important role for Councillors and senior staff members. Greater Bendigo Councillors and staff also play a central role in advocacy for future developments across the Loddon-Mallee region. The recently adopted Loddon Mallee South Regional Growth Plan provides strong guidance for the all the councils in the region. This year Council set a new aspirational vision to be the most liveable regional city in Australia.The City of Greater Bendigo is recognised widely as a thriving centre of growing sophistication and importance as a destination to settle, visit or conduct a business or industry, all reflecting the strength and diversity of Bendigo’s economy. Greater Bendigo enjoys close proximity to the surrounding Box Ironbark forests of central Victoria. The Box Ironbark forest on public and private land continues to make a significant contribution to the natural heritage and liveability of Greater Bendigo. In parallel to the challenges being experience by many growing urban centres, there is a tension between the need to plan for population growth and also to preserve this unique environmental asset. Bendigo city’s location as a ‘city in a forest’ is a major consideration in planning for the future, both in terms of the need to protect this unique asset, but also with regards emergency preparedness in managing and mitigating bushfire hazard to residents and 4


planning future emergency responses, where needed. Detailed planning is essential to ensure the best balance is achieved. The area’s rich and diverse heritage is evident in the architecture of the city and many of the small towns of the municipality. This in turn provides a uniqueness which draws an increasing number of visitors to the area from Victoria, Australia and overseas.

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A number of significant initiatives have been endorsed by Council in recent years, including redevelopment of the library, provision of a second multi-storey car-park, extension of the Bendigo Art Gallery, development of Ulumbarra Community Theatre complex, and provision of and re-development of a number of sports grounds and facilities. These, along with other major projects that are under way or in the planning stages including development of the Bendigo airport, the Marong business park and the aquatic facility at Kangaroo Flat, will provide the facilities required for a growing, sophisticated city and region.

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Lockwood Ward

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Councillors

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Localities include: Big Hill, Golden Gully, Golden Square, Harcourt North, Kangaroo Flat, Leichardt, Lockwood, Lockwood South, Maiden Gully, Mandurang, Mandurang South, Marong, Myers Flat, Quarry Hill, Ravenswood, Sailors Gully, Sedgwick, Shelbourne, Spring Gully, West Bendigo, Wilsons Hill. Cr Barry Lyons -Mayor 2013-2014 5434 6215 0429 292 084 b.lyons@bendigocouncillors.org.au r.fyffe@bendigocouncillors.org.au

Cr Elise Chapman 5434 6193 0418 330 289

e.chapman@bendigocouncillors.org.au

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Cr Rod Fyffe 5443 7673 0419 874 015

Whipstick Ward Localities include: Ascot, Avonmore, Bagshot, Bagshot North, Barnadown, Bendigo, California Gully, Drummartin, Eaglehawk, Eaglehawk North, East Bendigo, Elmore, Epsom, Fosterville, Goornong, Hunter, Huntly, North Ironbark, Jackass Flat, Kamarooka, Long Gully, Neilborough, North Bendigo, Raywood, Sebastian, Wellsford, Whipstick, White Hills, Woodvale. Cr Lisa Ruffell 5434 6206 0429 946 171

l.ruffell@bendigocouncillors.org.au

Cr Peter Cox 5434 6189 0427 318 490

p.cox@bendigocouncillors.org.au

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Cr James Williams 5434 6208 0427 211 677

j.williams@bendigocouncillors.org.au

Eppalock Ward Localities include: Argyle, Axe Creek, Axedale, Bendigo, Costerfield, Derrinal, East Bendigo, Emu Creek, Eppalock, Flora Hill, Heathcote, Junortoun, Kennington, Kimbolton, Knowsley, Ladys Pass, Longlea, Lyal, Mia Mia, Mount Camel, Myrtle Creek, Redcastle, Redesdale, Strathdale, Strathfieldsaye, Tooleen. Cr Rod Campbell 5434 6203 0427 514 429

r.campbell@bendigocouncillors.org.au

Cr Mark Weragoda 5434 6192 0400 363 586

m.weragoda@bendigocouncillors.org.au

Cr Helen Leach 5434 6190 0419 549 574

h.leach@bendigocouncillors.org.au

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Senior Leadership Team

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Craig Niemann Chief Executive Officer Bachelor of Business (Local Govt), Master of Business Administration. Craig joined the City of Greater Bendigo in October 2005 when he was appointed as Director of Organisation Support. He was appointed Chief Executive Officer in December 2007.

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Stan Liacos Director City Futures Bachelor of Applied Science (Planning), Graduate Diploma of Business Management, Master of Marketing Stan joined the City of Greater Bendigo in January 2006. He has a background in local government both locally and internationally. Marg Allan Director Organisation Support Bachelor of Business (Local Govt), Graduate Diploma of Public Policy, Master of Public Policy and Governance Marg Allan has extensive experience in Local Government including governance practices, organisation development, financial management, and strategic planning. Darren Fuzzard Director Presentation and Assets Bachelor of Engineering (Civil Engineering), Graduate Diploma of Management Darren was appointed as Director Presentation and Assets in January 2011 following almost five years as Director-Operations at the Loddon Shire Council. Prue Mansfield Director Planning and Development Diploma of Occupational Therapy, Graduate Diploma of Organisation Behaviour. Prue has extensive executive experience in social planning, economic development and land use planning at both the local and regional level.

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Pauline Gordon Director Community Wellbeing Associate Diploma in Applied Social Science, Diploma Company Directors Pauline has extensive local government and not-for-profit organisation experience in Victoria and interstate and been a Board member of a number of non-government organisations. The Purpose of the Council Plan The Council Plan one of the most important documents the Council produces. It both takes advice from the community about their priorities and expectations and provides information back to the community about the major direction the Councillors have chosen to take in the next four years. By law, each Council must prepare a Council Plan at the commencement of its term and review the plan at least annually. The Council Plan sets out the long term view of where the Council wants to be during its term, the Vision, and a number of Values which will underpin all the things it does.

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The document outlines the philosophy and key directions and Strategic Objectives that have been chosen by Council to provide guidance for the four-year period 2013-2017. This year the Council has set a new long-term vision: ‘Greater Bendigo - Working together to be Australia’s most liveable regional city.’ As it states, achieving our vision will result from effort across of community, not just the actions of Council.

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The Strategic Objectives are set out under five broad themes and state Council’s key directions for the four-year period of this plan. The strategic objectives have been refined to make more explicit to readers and users of the Council Plan the priorities that will enable Council to achieve its vision over time. A range of liveability indicators have been selected, that are related to each theme and which will document progress towards achieving this vision across all the different elements that will make Greater Bendigo more liveable. These indicators will also enable comparison with other locations in Victoria, nationally and internationally. The 2014-2015 strategies state the new priorities that have been agreed upon. The role of Council

Each Council term does not and cannot commence with a ‘blank slate’. A range of information is used to assist with planning and decision-making about what new and continuing activities are important and what can be accommodated in the available budget. Developing a new Council Plan is a big task, which is iterative in nature. Each potential decision must be considered with reference to the agreed priorities and directions and budget availability. Trends in the liveability indicators will provide additional guidance over time. This advice to Council comes from four sources: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Federal and State data and related priorities Current and previous Council priorities and decisions including adopted plans and strategies Local evidence and community engagement feedback, including the benchmarks set in liveability indicators. Professional advice from Council staff including the use agreed frameworks to guide objective decision-making. 8


Community input into the Council Plan Community engagement is ‘… any process that involves the community in problem-solving or decision-making. Community engagement uses community input to make better decisions.’ Community engagement is playing an increasingly important part in the development of a range of new City of Greater Bendigo strategies and plans, including the Council Plan. In this Plan, community information has informed decision-making about the key directions, or strategic objectives and the actions that have been prioritised for the year. Community engagement results that have contributed to the Council Plan take many forms, and included:

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To provide broad input  Loddon Mallee Southern Regional Growth Plan  The Greater Bendigo 2036 Community Plan  The Community Plans developed by 11 small towns and 6 neighbourhoods across Greater Bendigo  Results from the Youth survey 2012.  Results from the 2011 and 2014 Bendigo Wellbeing Surveys.  Results from the 2011-12 Aged and Disability Review.  2014 Statewide Local Government Community Satisfaction Survey results, benchmarked against other Councils. (400 people were interviewed).  2014-Community discussion and formal submissions on the draft Council Plan - as part of the annual review of actions in the current Council Plan  Customer request analysis: more than 30,000 requests annually

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To provide input into the Council Plan specifically  Reflective feedback from Councillors during the current cycle and a series of planning sessions and a workshop with the Councillors to set the framework for the plan and more recently to refine the Vision and Strategic Objectives and set Liveability indicators..  Invitations to take part in discussions in newspapers, on Web, twitter and Facebook to contribute ideas. To get comments on draft Council Plan  Community consultations and opportunities to discuss the draft Council Plan and a range of other key documents as they are updated including the Municipal Public Health and Well Being Plan, Integrated Transport Strategy and various locality based structure plans.  Newspaper page (last Tuesday of each month)  Website, with questions to respond to Facebook and Twitter (interactive with specific questions posed)  Councillors’ Listening Posts  Discussion at advisory committees happening in timeframe  Groups and individuals who have previously made a submission on the draft are invited to take part. To get submissions on the penultimate draft Council Plan  The draft was available for formal submissions from the public for 28 days during May 2014. Submitters were invited to make a verbal presentation.

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The following diagram illustrates the relationship between the Council Plan and other major City of Greater Bendigo documents and the role of community engagement strategies in informing the development of these documents.

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Integrated Corporate Planning Framework

City of Greater Bendigo Corporate Planning and Reporting Framework ENGAGEMENT

ACTION

RESOURCE

PLANNING

PLANNING

REPORTING

Community Plans - Greater Bendigo 2036 - Small Town and Neighbourhood Plans

Community Engagement Framework

Long Term Financial and Council Plan

Workforce Plan (Strategic Resource

Annual Report to the Community

Plan)

1. Deliberate Consultation Activities

Media 3. Customer Service Requests

Report to

Strategies COGB Strategies

5. Individual Contacts with Staff/Councillors

and Plans

councillors on

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4. Small Towns

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2. Communications and

Council Plan

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Annual Actions

including Annual

Capital Expenditure

Unit Budget

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Service Plans

Council Budget

achievements in strategies

Report to Councillors on progress against Annual Actions and Budget

Progress report to Director

Individual Work

Progress report to

Plans

Supervisor

Council's Planning and Reporting framework is underpinned by Federal, State and Regional Strategic Plans, Policies and Legislation

Note: lighter shades are for "internal only" documents

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Theme 1: Leadership and Good Governance Council demonstrates leadership to assure the community that there is capacity and flexibility to plan for and manage emerging challenges, as well as responding to immediate needs and concerns. Good governance is evident in transparent and well-informed decisionmaking for the long term, sound management of resources and diverse and effective engagement with community members. Strategic Objectives 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Council demonstrates leadership in its decisions and uses good governance principles to guide decision-making Advocacy about our priorities is effective Community members take an active part in democratic engagement Greater Bendigo people receive responsive, accessible and inclusive customer service Staff members are enabled to work effectively Service delivery is of excellent standard

Challenges and Opportunities

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Council has a strategic leadership role in setting priorities and making decisions that will enhance the wellbeing of our communities and enable effective planning for the future. People increasingly want to take an active part in consultation about each phase of the development of new Council initiatives, strategies, Masterplans, and service reviews. Community engagement opportunities need to keep pace with changing use of technology. An engaged community is a strength that enables significant partnerships and service delivery opportunities to counter government funding shortfalls. State Government and community have high expectations with regards reporting on performance and audit outcomes, especially with regards the long term impact of strategies on people’s lives and wellbeing. The future financial liability associated with the Superannuation defined benefits shortfall remains unresolved and unclear. Being prepared to manage risk and emergencies is important. Detailed workforce planning and development is undertaken to ensure Council has the right number of people in place with the right skills able to deliver the right outcomes, all the time. Organisations such as the City of Greater Bendigo (and other Councils) face challenges related to a changing industrial relations arena, the ageing of the general workforce, skill and talent shortages, and different generational motivators, corresponding to attraction and retention issues. Prudent financial management is critical to the long term viability and sustainability of the City.

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Strategic Objective 1.1

Strategy

Council demonstrates leadership in its decisions and uses good governance principles to guide decision-making.

Advocacy about our priorities is effective

1.3

Community members take an active part in democratic engagement

1.4

Greater Bendigo people receive responsive, accessible and inclusive customer service

1.1.2 Review the findings of the emergency management cluster pilot project with partnering councils. 1.1.3 Thoroughly evaluate the potential long term impacts of any shift of responsibility or reduction in funding from the state government, before agreeing to fund service delivery or fund new services. 1.2.1 Maintain strong and positive relationships with State and Federal Government politicians and departments. 1.2.2 Lobby Federal and State Government for required infrastructure, key projects and services to be in place as our community grows, including advancement of the Marong Business Park and construction of the new runway and Business Park at Bendigo Airport. 1.2.3 Contribute to the Regional Growth Plan & Regional Cities Strategy being led by Regional Development Victoria.

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1.2

1.1.1 Respond to the recommendations of the Independent Review 2013 in accordance with the Implementation Plan.

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1.3.1 Continue to implement the Community Engagement Framework to guide engagement opportunities, timetables and feedback throughout strategy and policy development and service reviews. 1.3.2 Engage with community members who are experiencing barriers to accessing public infrastructure in the CBD to develop criteria for prioritising improvement works. 1.4.1

Implement the Customer Service Charter and continue to improve satisfaction with customer support services.

1.4.2 Undertake a survey of customers regarding their satisfaction with Customer Support and use the results to inform further improvements to Customer Support activities. 1.5

Staff members are enabled to work effectively

1.5.1 Review and further strengthen the organisation's commitment to staff safety and wellbeing, including implementing the outcomes of the injury management review. 1.5.2 Develop a People and Performance Strategy to be the best we can.

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Strategic Objective

Strategy 1.5.3 Implement the new Enterprise Agreement. 1.5.4 Implement an electronic system to achieve a paperless solution for payment of invoices.

Service delivery is of excellent standard

1.6.1 Introduce a Project Management system to coordinate, manage and monitor the entire capital works program. 1.6.2 Implement the organisation's strategic risk management and fraud control frameworks.

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1.6.3 Launch new staff values and an updated Code of Conduct. 1.6.4 Finalise the Building Asset Management Plan (BAMP) to provide strategic direction to manage Council's significant property portfolio. 1.6.5 Effectively communicate the State Government changes to the Planning Scheme designed to facilitate better outcomes and speedier granting of planning permits.

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1.6.6 Investigate the opportunities for commercial production and sales of plants and trees propagated by the City of Greater Bendigo Nursery.

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1.6

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Theme 2: Planning for Growth During this term Council has made a strong commitment to complete significant planning work to develop detailed and long term plans around integrated transport and future residential needs. This encompasses projects that contribute to achieving the vision of Bendigo becoming the most liveable regional city in Australia, and covers development of infrastructure that differentiates the municipality as an affordable, comfortable, connected and safe place to live and provides for modern and future lifestyle and cultural choices. It is essential that Greater Bendigo plans for the future and presents compelling arguments to the State and Federal Governments for funding to deliver on the plans, especially major infrastructure items. The completion of a number of major projects, identified in previous planning work, is also a high priority. There are competing demands in community priorities and internal funding decisions in the desires to plan for growth, maintain the existing infrastructure to safe and acceptable standards, and meet increasing demand for social services and new infrastructure. These strategies ensure Greater Bendigo adapts to the needs of a growing and increasingly diverse population smoothly and positively.

2. 3.

Greater Bendigo delivers major projects while maintaining its unique character, accommodating a growing population and diversifying the economy. Greater Bendigo residents and communities are connected with accessible transport options and access to essential built and communications infrastructure. Housing options meet current and future community expectations and needs.

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Strategic Objectives

Challenges and Opportunities

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Greater Bendigo is the largest Council in the Loddon Mallee, and Bendigo’s role as the regional capital is likely to increase. We expect a significant and rapid increase in population; this will provide both opportunities and challenges. We are challenged to ensure sufficient growth and diversity in housing availability, education and employment opportunities while retaining our liveability and attraction for people of age groups. A significant amount of public investment guided by the Bendigo CBD Plan has ensured the vibrancy and attraction of the city to businesses, residents and visitors. Lobbying and advocacy will remain important to ensure we retain our regional competitiveness and take advantage of opportunities for future development and sustainability of the region. Access to high-speed internet services is key to business effectiveness and competitiveness. Future planning and investment in major transformative projects which will serve the entire region as it grows and change is essential. Financial responsibility is heightened within the current federal and state government policy environment where costs are passed on to local government in the forms of reduced grants and/or cost-shifting and fewer grants for major projects are available.

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Strategic Objective

2.1

Greater Bendigo delivers major projects while maintaining its unique character, accommodating a growing population and diversifying the economy.

Strategy Plan for the Greater Bendigo Aquatic Centre at 2.1.1 Kangaroo Flat including applying for a planning permit and continuing to lobby for funding. Complete the Hospital Precinct Structure Plan 2.1.2 and commence implementation of agreed priorities. 2.1.3

Complete the Rosalind Park Precinct Plan and commence implementation of agreed priorities.

Progress the Marong Business Park Planning Scheme Amendment .

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Work with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and Bendigo 2.1.4 Senior Secondary College to deliver the Bendigo Theatre Project and complete streetscape works.

2.1.6

Complete the planning scheme amendment to facilitate development at Bendigo Airport.

Greater Bendigo residents and communities are connected with accessible transport options and access to essential built and communications infrastructure

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Continue to progress cycle and walking path links and footpaths to commercial centres, 2.1.7 recreation facilities and schools, with a focus on underserviced areas Complete the Integrated Transport & Land Use Plan, encompassing private transport, public 2.2.1 transport logistics and freight, the impact on health, integration and development, and commence implementation of agreed priorities. Build community understanding of the new opportunities for knowledge based businesses 2.2.2 that will be created by access to high speed internet.

2.3

Housing options meet current and future community expectations and needs

Complete the Residential Development Strategy encompassing the urban growth 2.3.1 boundary, new growth areas, housing diversity and medium density infill residential options and commence Planning Scheme amendments. Support the development of a sustainable future 2.3.2 management model for the Heathcote Independent Living Units.

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Theme 3: The presentation and vibe of our city When people in Bendigo describe it as being very liveable, they use phrases such as it ‘looks good’, is easy to get around, it is safe, it is affordable, and there is good access to health and education, and services for people who need help. There are choices in activities, education, housing and entertainment, and sporting facilities and open spaces are well maintained. People still say ‘Hello’ in the street. These are important features of the community to strengthen as Greater Bendigo grows and changes. New initiatives will be developed on the basis of equity to meet gaps in existing services or provide better access to existing services for members of the public. Outcomes that specifically encourage physical activity and those that promote mental and physical wellbeing are valued. At the same time preservation and/or promotion of the municipality's physical and cultural heritage remain important criteria. Strategic Objectives

4. 5. 6. 7.

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Public infrastructure across Greater Bendigo facilitates positive wellbeing and good quality of life; Greater Bendigo is a place of great places that celebrates people's active artistic, cultural, sporting and social lives; Greater Bendigo is a community that values its heritage and supports arts and cultural experiences; People are enabled to be the healthiest they can be; Residents have access to environments and settings that support safe and healthy living; The Greater Bendigo region is a drawcard for visitors; Greater Bendigo has inclusive and equitable communities where people feel welcome and connected to others.

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1.

Challenges and Opportunities

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Community members’ increasing expectations and social values about what Council services may be provided, especially in the areas of social support services. Council is reviewing its role in direct service provision in a number of areas including children’s services and aged care. We have a higher than average proportion of young families, and an increasing number of older residents. Fair access to services is a guiding principle. Supporting community members’ opportunities for connecting to each other and celebrating diversity is fundamental to community wellbeing. Council has a role in strategies that will improve the health and wellbeing of our population over time. We use a range of valid evidence to inform decision-making.

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Strategic Objective 3.1

Public infrastructure across Greater Bendigo facilitates positive wellbeing and a good quality of life

Strategy 3.1.1

Continue to implement allocated actions from the following Master Plans: Shadforth Park, Queen Elizabeth Oval, Canterbury Park, Wolstencroft Reserve, and Strathfieldsaye Recreation Reserve.

3.1.2

Implementation of the Bendigo Botanical Gardens Masterplan through further upgrade of the heritage gardens and commencement of development of the contemporary gardens.

3.1.3

Complete the O'Keefe Rail Trail between Heathcote and Axedale. Promote and increase physical activity among residents through the Healthy Together Bendigo Initiative and the BeActive Program.

3.1.4

As custodians, contribute to the conservation, activation, access and interpretation of important Bendigo arts venues.

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Greater Bendigo is a place of great places that celebrates people's active artistic, cultural, sporting and social lives

3.2.2

Improve the vitality of the Hargreaves Mall by the Hargreaves Mall activation program and other events.

3.2.3

Develop and updated Play Space Strategy and implement agreed priority actions

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3.2

3.3

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3.2.4

Greater Bendigo is a community that values its heritage and supports arts and cultural experiences

Implement the Open Space Strategy by continued upgrades to Parks and Passive Reserves

3.3.1

Advance the White Hills Heritage Study.

3.3.2

Promote heritage values and learning opportunities in partnership with relevant heritage organisations.

3.3.3

Actively seek opportunities to encourage and support artistic/creative endeavours and increase community participation through the delivery of an annual programme of creative initiatives.

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Strategic Objective The Greater Bendigo region is a drawcard for visitors

3.4.1

3.4.2

3.5

People, especially those who are vulnerable and people moving into new growth areas, are enabled to be the healthiest they can be

As a significant Arts and Cultural provider, contribute to the ongoing positioning of Greater Bendigo as a Nationally recognised Cultural destination. Promote tourism seasonal campaigns and major events using a range of media including on-line and digital.

3.4.3

Enhance the reputation and profile of Greater Bendigo and the region through effective promotion.

3.5.1

Develop an Active and Healthy Policy and Strategy, informed by the results of the Active Living Census 2014.

3.5.2

Implement the agreed priorities of the Health and Wellbeing plan. Implement recommendations from the Greater Bendigo Food Security Report 2014 including investigation of establishing a Regional Food Hub and Distribution Centre. Implement agreed priority actions from the Youth Strategy with a focus on mental health, drug and alcohol risk minimisation and safety and youth coordination. Implement agreed priorities from the Positive Ageing Strategy 2011-2014 and review the strategy.

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3.4

Strategy

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3.5.5

3.5.6

3.5.7

3.6

Residents have access to environments and settings that support safe and healthy living

3.6.1

3.6.2

Implement Sport and Recreation Strategies and Policies including the Active and Healthy Communities Framework, Active Living Census, Capital Contributions and Commercial Use of Open Space. Implement the recommendation of the Aged and Disability Services Review including planning for the implementation of the HACC transition plan under the National Disability Insurance Scheme(NDIS). Adopt and commence implementation of the revised Domestic Wastewater Management Strategy.

Develop a Municipal Early Years Plan in consultation with key stakeholder agencies, families and children.

19


Strategic Objective

Develop a Rural Communities Strategy.

3.6.4

Arising from the recommendations of the Early Years Review, implement the adopted changes to Council's role in support for childcare and preschools services. Develop a City of Greater Bendigo policy response to the Human Rights Charter

3.7.1

3.7.2

Complete the review of Community Plans for Raywood, Elmore and Marong.

3.7.3

Develop a City of Greater Bendigo Cultural Diversity Strategy Develop a City of Greater Bendigo Reconciliation Action Plan Advocate to state government regarding unmet community transport needs for disadvantaged community members across Greater Bendigo.

3.7.4

R

AF

3.7.5

T

Greater Bendigo has inclusive and equitable communities where people feel welcome and connected to others

3.6.3

D

3.7

Strategy

20


Theme 4: Productivity Productivity is about encouraging innovation and diversity in education, commerce and industry. It is about responding to new economic opportunities, including making sure our local workforce is appropriately skilled. Council’s role involves supporting infrastructure projects that promote and enable investment, business opportunity and business security within the municipality. It is establishing the environment for investment, and making sure the infrastructure is in place to support economic activity. It involves creating the opportunity for all people to be actively employed. The focus is on the potential additional economic activity generated in the community, not a direct return on investment to the City of Greater Bendigo. Strategic Objectives

2. 3.

Greater Bendigo has a vibrant and diverse economy that grows jobs and enables good living standards; Support for innovation and creativity builds economic sustainability; Greater Bendigo enables lifelong learning opportunities.

Challenges and Opportunities

   

AF

R

The diversity of our economy and innovation in many sectors are major factors in our economic sustainability. Supporting businesses which attract visitors, residents and workers continues to be a high priority. The expected advantages brought about by NBN access in Greater Bendigo will facilitate further expansion of knowledge-based employment opportunities. Essential infrastructure, footpaths, drainage, well built and maintained roads are essential for economic and social purposes Major financial decisions may be warranted to accommodate the future growth of the city and maintain its appeal as a place to live, work and visit. The links between the education sectors and employment opportunities are significant, especially in relation to young people’s opportunities. Greater Bendigo must continue to provide attractions to a diverse range of visitors. Access to high speed internet services is as much a business necessity as it is a social asset.

D

T

1.

21


Strategic Objective

4.2

Support for innovation and creativity builds economic sustainability

4.1.1

Implement agreed priority actions from the Economic Development Strategy.

4.1.2

Finalise critical freight route by completing stages 2 & 3 of East Bendigo Link Road

Promote Bendigo as a centre for invention and 4.2.1 innovation through the Bendigo Inventor Awards and associated innovation programs. 4.2.2

Facilitate better links between students, education and employer needs, including 4.3.1 support for tertiary providers to expand their offerings in identified local priority employment.

R

AF

Develop programs that facilitate young people to develop skills that enable employment readiness 4.3.2 through the Community, Opportunity, Growth Centre (COG).

D

4.3

Greater Bendigo enables lifelong learning opportunities

Support the building of the Bendigo Hospital through the 'Leveraging the Benefits Program'.

T

4.1

Greater Bendigo has a vibrant and diverse economy that grows jobs and enables good living standards

Strategy

22


Theme 5: Sustainability Sustainability means making good use of all our resources, so that the decisions made today do not limit the choices of future generations. Many people think of sustainability as the ongoing viability of natural systems (air, water, energy, biodiversity) in a balanced relationship with human life. A changing climate threatens our future prosperity, environment and development. Without strong action globally, and at home, the projected impacts and costs of the changing weather patterns are significant. Projects specifically targeting a reduction in the communities’ or the City of Greater Bendigo’s impact on the environment, including direct carbon reduction initiatives, new projects to repair or reduce environmental damage, encouraging environmentally sensitive design and community leading initiatives that promote better community behaviour toward the environment, including waste reduction, are supported. Preserving Bendigo’s unique natural heritage of being a ‘city in a forest’ remains a priority. In the context of this Council Plan, built and natural assets and finances must also be managed in a way that is viable into the future. Strategic Objectives

2.

Resources and assets are planned for, and managed wisely for long-term viability and to reduce the environmental footprint. Greater Bendigo's natural heritage is restored and protected for the future.

   

R

An increase in extreme weather events and increasing temperature are already significantly impacting on Council planning and emergency preparedness; Councils are expected to be leaders and role models in policy aimed at climate adaptation and reducing resource use; Implementation and administration of newly introduced legislation, such as the Fire Services Levy, impacts on the work and resources of Council; Reducing waste to landfill has become a very important priority because of the increasing costs and environmental obligations associated with waste disposal; Keeping our assets and infrastructure in good repair is an important principle; We will continue to value our unique natural and built environmental assets.

D

AF

Challenges and Opportunities

T

1.

23


Strategic Objective

5.1

Resources and assets are used wisely to reduce the environmental footprint

Strategy Develop a Master Plan for Eaglehawk Landfill which encompasses its closure as an operating 5.1.1 landfill in 2019, rehabilitation and conversion to a resource recovery and transfer operation Implement the Waste Management Strategy including agreed priorities of introducing larger 5.1.2 360 litre recycle bins and a Public Place recycling service. Work to reduce the City of Greater Bendigo’s corporate greenhouse gas emissions, including 5.1.3 implementation of the 'Lighting the Regions' bulk changeover to energy efficient street lights.

T

Continue improvements to irrigation systems and 5.1.4 water management processes in parks and natural reserves.

Work with public land managers landcare and other environmental groups to protect local 5.2.1 ecology, landscape values and manage invasive plants and animals.

R

Greater Bendigo's natural heritage is restored and protected for the future

D

5.2

AF

5.1.5 Implement the surplus land disposal program.

24


Plans under development and/or review Bendigo Integrated Transport Strategy Bendigo Residential Development Strategy (2014) Communications Strategy Community Access and Inclusion Plan Community Engagement Strategy Dower Park Master Plan Domestic Waste Water Management Strategy Economic Development Strategy Hospital Precinct Structure Plan Natural Environment Strategy Road Management Plan 2013 Rosalind Park Master Plan Spring Gully Corridor Master Plan Waste and Resource Management Strategy

T

             

Plans in current use, with specific actions being implemented

R

AF

Greater Bendigo Aquatic Facilities Strategy 2010 Audit Committee Charter 2012 Bendigo Airport Strategic Plan and Master Plan 2009 Bendigo Botanic Gardens, White Hills, Master Plan (2010) Bendigo CBD Structure Plan (2006) Big Hill & Mandurang Valley Landscape Masterplan 2013 Eaglehawk Open Space Precinct Master Plan- including Canterbury Gardens (2010) Eaglehawk Structure Plan 2013 Epsom / Huntly Recreation Reserve Masterplan Gateway Park Master Plan (2011) Greater Bendigo Walking and Cycling Strategy (2006) Independent Review of City of Greater Bendigo operations 2013 Invasive Plants and Animals Strategy 2012-2015 Kennington Recreation Reserve Master Plan(Bendigo South) 2009 Lake Weeroona Precinct Master Plan 2011 Maiden Gully Structure Plan 2013 Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2013-2017 Open Space Strategy 2005 Play Space Strategy 2009-14 Positive Ageing Strategy 2011-2014 Rural Areas Strategy 2009 Violence Prevention Plan 2012 Youth Development Strategy 2013-16

D

                      

Plans that are referred to for policy direction or strategic intent 

Axedale Township Structure Plan 2008 25


Bendigo CBD Parking Strategy (2008) Bendigo Industrial Land Strategy (2002) Bendigo Residential Development Strategy (2004) Commercial Land Strategy 2005 Future Uses for Former Mine Land (2007) Greater Bendigo 2036 Community Plan (2011) Greater Bendigo Gaming Policy framework (2007) Heathcote Township Plan Huntly Township Plan 2009 Kangaroo Flat South Regional Centre Structure Plan - TBC Kennington Recreation Reserve Master Plan (2011) Marong Local Township Plan (2011) Northern Corridor and Huntly Local Structure Plan 2005 Small Town and Neighbourhood Community Plans 2007-2014 (ongoing) Strathdale Commercial Precinct Structure Plan 2010 Strathfieldsaye Township Plan 2009

T

               

D

R

AF

Note: Many of our Strategies are integrated and therefore relate to more than one Council Plan goal area.

26


Greater Bendigo Liveability Indicators The adopted Strategic Objectives set out in each goal area have been chosen because together they lead to Bendigo being a liveable regional city. But there are some elements of liveability where Council has no direct responsibility, although it may have an advocacy role. The following liveability aspirations have been selected because;  Collectively they give a picture of liveability;  The data are already collected and can be compared with other regional cities.  They provide a picture across all elements of a liveable city, not just those that Council is responsible for;  They can be tracked over time. As the evidence is accumulated, not all of the indicators will be required.

Planning for Growth

  

T

Increase the proportion of the population born overseas in the greater Bendigo age profile. Increase the percentage of the population that walks or cycles 5 times a week for at least 30 minutes. Increase the percentage of the urban area within 400m of a bus stop. Decrease the proportion of residents aged over sixty years who live alone on a low income. Decrease the proportion of houses at or below the affordable housing index level; households with housing costs 30% or more of gross income.

Presentation and Vibe

    

R

 

Increase the proportion of households where there is a park or open space within a 10 minute walk. Improve visitors' ranking of local tourist experiences. Crime rate - decrease in recorded offences of crimes against the person per 100,000 (including rape, sex, robbery, assault & abduction). Increase child immunisation completion rates to be better than the state average. Reverse the negative trend in Bendigo compared to state-wide or national obesity benchmarks. Decrease to 50% or less the proportion of Greater Bendigo people who do not meet fruit and vegetable dietary guidelines. Improve the perception of wellbeing- In general would you say your health is…? Increase the number of non-family groups or networks people report they are members of or regularly take part in.

D

AF

Productivity     

Increase the number of businesses with fewer than 20 employees, per 1,000 population. Increase the percentage of local businesses with international export/trade links. Increase the percentage of the workforce who have completed a Bachelor’s Degree or higher and were born outside Bendigo. Decrease the percentage of people who are unemployed, expressed as a percentage of the labour force. Increase the percentage of eligible children completing their 15 hrs/week pre-school. 27


Increase the proportion of people aged 17 years still attending education (including school and vocational training).

Sustainability

T AF

R

  

Increase the proportion of the population who reported volunteering for a community group or activity more than once per month during the past year. Increase in municipal-wide average SEIFA index of disadvantage. Increase the proportion of individual's expressing ability to access emergency funds. Increase the proportion of people taking part in a public discussion (including attending a town meeting or public affairs discussion, contacting a local politician or Councillor, joining a protest demonstration or signing a petition). Decrease in greenhouse pollution/person/year (tonnes). Increase diversion of domestic waste to resource recovery. Increase community satisfaction rating for community consultation and engagement

D

28


Local Government Performance Reporting Framework Indicators Local Government Victoria is introducing a new Performance Reporting Framework with data gathering across approximately 96 items commencing July 2014. It will enable more efficient auditing and comparisons between all councils on a standard range of activities. The Victorian Auditor General’s Office (VAGO) will directly audit the following items:

T

Satisfaction with council decisions Planning decisions upheld at VCAT Change in number of businesses Satisfaction with sealed local roads Active resident library members Kerbside collection waste diverted from landfill Utilisation of pool facility Animal prosecutions proven in court Critical and major non-compliance notifications . Participation in HACC service Participation in HACC service – CALD Participation in MCH key ages and stages visits Participation in MCH key ages and stages visits by aboriginal children A full report against all items will be made available as required.

AF

Victorian Local Government Community Satisfaction Survey items

R

Each year the Victorian Government commissions research to gauge local community members’ satisfaction with their local Council. A number of the items are compulsory and some are selected by the individual Council. The report compares each Council with the state-wide average as well as with other Councils of comparable size, and emphasises particular areas for improvement. The results for each year are included in the Annual Report.

Community Satisfaction Survey items relating to:

D

Overall Satisfaction Community Consultation and Engagement Lobbying on Behalf of the Community Keeping the Community Informed Environmental sustainability (not measured) Emergency and disaster management Planning for local population growth Maintenance of local streets and footpaths Traffic management as Council responsibility Enforcement of Local Laws Recreational facilities Appearance of public areas Council's general town planning policy Family support services Elderly support services Arts centres and libraries Community and cultural activities What respondents report as the best thing about Greater Bendigo Council? What respondents believe Greater Bendigo Council most need to do to improve its performance?

29


30

T

AF

R

D


31

T

AF

R

D


32

T

AF

R

D


33

T

AF

R

D


34

T

AF

R

D


Draft Council Plan 2013-2017 (2014-2015 update)