Greater Bendigo April 2014
Special 20th anniversary edition: Linking Greater Bendigoâ€™s past, present and future
A new super Council is born page 3-4
Our glorious Town Hall page 9-11
A letter from the future page 31
Contents Past: The 20 years that shaped Greater Bendigo 3
A new super council is born
5 Reform broader than cutting Council numbers 6 Recognising those who served our community 8
Honouring our Citizens
Our glorious Town Hall
12 The 20 years that changed the face of Greater Bendigo 14
New Saleyards prove a wise decision
Community plans inspire change
Present: Responding to the needs of a modern city 16
Our ambition is to be the best
17 Reflecting on the development of a great regional city 18 Snapshot: 50 services we provide for our community in 2014 20 Prioritising roads, footpaths and other works
What does our logo mean?
Building a better Hospital Precinct
Receive your rate notice digitally
Building a Greater Bendigo
- Bendigo Art Gallery extension unveiled
- Works on Ulumbarra Theatre progressing
- A Library for the 21st century
24 City prepares to make a splash in Long Gully Hockey one, hockey two – new state of the art pitch complete
Future: Planning for the next 20 years and beyond 25
A 20 year horizon
What will Bendigo look like in 20 years’ time? 26 Have your say on Greater Bendigo’s future for your chance to win 27
Greater Bendigo – A place to call home
Our challenges for the future
30 Connecting Greater Bendigo – planning for our future transport and land use needs
Redefining the Rosalind Park precinct
A letter from the future
32 Greater Bendigo Plant Nursery accredited Contact details and Executive Management Team
On the cover The magnificent Mayoral Ceremonial Chain.
Special edition to mark City of Greater Bendigo’s 20th anniversary This year marks the 20th Anniversary of the City of Greater Bendigo.
most successful regional centres in Australia and the envy of councils across Victoria.
In April 1994, the Victorian Government amalgamated the former Bendigo City, Huntly Shire, Borough of Eaglehawk, Marong Shire and Strathfieldsaye Shire to form the City of Greater Bendigo. In 1995 a major part of the former Shire of McIvor was added, including the township of Heathcote.
To mark our 20th year, we have produced this special edition of Greater Bendigo Magazine that looks at the City of Greater Bendigo’s:
When Greater Bendigo was formed, Commissioners Peter Ross Edwards, Gordon McKern and Les Crofts and later Maurie Sharkey and Maxine Crouch were appointed by the State Government to oversee the newly created municipality. They were supported by Acting Chief Executive Officer Vern Robson and later Chief Executive Officer Peter Seamer. Together they laid the foundations for significant progress with achievements including: • Securing the historic Bendigo Post Office building so it could later become the Bendigo Visitor Centre and Post Office Gallery • Development of the indoor heated swimming pool at Eaglehawk • Attracting Graincorp to Marong • Securing a future for Girton Grammar by providing a debt guarantee • Helping to facilitate the Bendigo Marketplace development • Relocating the infant welfare centre and creche to open up the entrance to Rosalind Park • Giving the go ahead for the Commonwealth Offices in Lyttleton Terrace • Taking on direct responsibility for the then struggling Bendigo Art Gallery and Capital Theatre • Relocation and construction of the saleyards in Epsom
• Past – Former Bendigo Advertiser Editor and former Greater Bendigo Councillor Wayne Gregson takes a look at why amalgamation happened and how it has changed our city. We also look at the history of the Mayoral chain, past Mayors and Councillors and we list all of the wonderful people who have been the City of Greater Bendigo’s Citizen and Young Citizen of the Year • Present – Chief Executive Officer Craig Niemann provides an overview of the City as it is today. We also look at the major projects recently completed and underway, as well as the many and varied services that we are providing for our community • Future – Our Strategy Manager Trevor Budge talks about the importance of planning for the City as it tackles the pressures of a fast growing population. We also look at the strategies underway that will help to shape our future and through a ‘letter from the future’ we explore how Greater Bendigo might look 20 years from now We hope you enjoy this special edition of Greater Bendigo Magazine and take the time to reflect on where we have come from, where we are today and where we might be in the future. Cr Barry Lyons Mayor
Local Government elections in April 1996 heralded a return to Councillors who built on these achievements to see Greater Bendigo become one of the
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Greater Bendigo’s first Mayor, Megan Weston, wears the Mayoral Chain.
Chain links past, present and future A spectacular Mayoral Ceremonial Chain designed to link the past, present and future local governments was commissioned and officially presented to the Greater Bendigo City Council in 1998. The chain was created by local jeweler Tony Kean and Mayor Cr Barry Ackerman had the honour of being the first to wear it. The Mayoral chain provides an historical reminder of how the City of Greater Bendigo came to be by linking the six former Councils of Marong, Strathfieldsaye, McIvor, Huntly, Eaglehawk and Bendigo. A highlight of the chain is the individual links bearing the crests of each of the former municipalities that have made up the City of Greater Bendigo. The 1.5 metre long chain is made of gold mined from the Central Deborah Gold Mine and weighs more than one kilogram. A key feature of the chain is a replica of the beautifully ornate gold medallion which was presented to the former City of Bendigo by Mr George Lansell in 1893 which features the Bendigo Coat of Arms. The ceremonial chain is worn on both formal and other occasions by the Mayor of the day and links are added with the initials of each new Mayor.
The 20 years that shaped Greater Bendigo
A new super council is born Changing times: Gordon McKern (Commissioner), Peter Seamer (Chief Executive Officer), Peter Ross Edwards (Chief Commissioner) and Les Crofts (Commissioner).
By Wayne Gregson - writer, former senior reporter and editor of the Bendigo Advertiser and former City of Greater Bendigo Councillor from 2004 to 2008.
If you think Bendigo people love an argument now (and they do!) you should have been around in the late 1980s and 90s. What is now the City of Greater Bendigo was then the City of Bendigo, the Rural City of Marong, the Borough of Eaglehawk, the Shire of Huntly, the Shire of Strathfieldsaye and much of the Shire of McIvor based in Heathcote. The City of Greater Bendigo now has nine councillors, administering an area of 3048 square kilometres and a population of more than 105,000.
Before local government amalgamation in 1994, the same area, with a population around 75,000 had … wait for it … 57 councillors. And boy, did the Bendigo Advertiser love it. There was more municipal street theatre on the go than you could cram into its voluminous broadsheet pages. The paper then had about three times the reporters it does now, and most of us were on a non-stop merry-go-round of local council meetings. This was in the days when you couldn’t find governance even in a dictionary. It seemed like a stream of non-stop elections, silliness, pettifogging, grandstanding, backstabbing and failed planning. The old City of Bendigo planning scheme filled six tiny A5 pages. Now it fills many hundreds without all the appendices and annotations.
As I say, the Addy loved it. It seemed like more happened, more vigorously, more viciously, and with sheer unadulterated malicious intent. The council press tables were crammed with reporters from press, radio and TV, all slobbering for the latest bit of mayhem. It was known that just enough would happen each fortnight to fill all the meetings and all the available pages. It was a case of problems expanding to meet the availability of the number of people involved. Bendigo wasn’t alone in this highly casted street theatre. I used to be a reporter in Hobart in the late 1970s. Now, Tassie has a population equivalent to Geelong’s. But it has a full set of Senators, Members of the House of Representatives, Members of the Legislative Council, Members of the Legislative Assembly, and 29 local councils. (Continued over page)
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The Addy was ready for it for another reason: the years of bitter fighting at the Shire of Strathfieldsaye. There had been power battles inside this shire for years, sparking a state government investigation, the sacking of the council, the appointment of a commissioner and some interesting naming of names.
the sewering of Bendigo. It’s Eddie Obeid stuff.) The combined councils of the soon-to-be City of Greater Bendigo were not happy at having their sand castles kicked over. Some even not happier than others, such as Marong, Huntly and Eaglehawk who tried to use a Supreme Court writ to stop the amalgamation.
Peter Ross Edwards (from 1994), Les Crofts (1994), Gordon McKern (from 1994 and this year’s Citizen of the Year), Maurie Sharkey (1994) and Maxine Crouch (1995). They did a magnificent job. Most people still think so, and there’s often a yearning letter to the editor calling for the return of the commissioners. But as someone recently commented: how would Bendigo like a state-appointed, non-democratic ruler, who was not answerable to VCAT or any other local appeal and who was resourced to do exactly what the Premier decided?
Borough’s last stand: Cannons fired in protest against amalgamation.
We once calculated that one in every 25 Tasmanians was an elected member of government! In Bendigo in the 1980s everyone had a say and they said it. In the 21 Century, if a councillor calls for some investment in, let’s say, the Capital Theatre, there’ll be the usual suspects moaning and writing eye-wateringly nasty letters to the editor, but generally, things move on. st
Back then, it was a different story. Let’s stick with the example of the Capital. This beautiful edifice in View Street dates back to the 1870s and was built predominantly as a Masonic Temple and meeting rooms. One hundred years later, it was a sad wreck and abandoned. It’s not often remembered now, but Bendigo slumbered through most of the 20th Century. Nothing happened. No big projects were dreamed of. We sort of dozed our way through life as an ill-defined service centre for agriculture and other stuff. The gold industry gradually faded into history. But what this meant was that in the 1980s, when the Great Dozing Daze were over, we woke to find we had the most unexpected thing; heritage. Because not much had been bulldozed, we’d been left with some magnificent relics. Oh sure, we lost some truly beaut buildings in the waking up process, such as the ANA Hall, the building which was opposite the Shamrock, the Lyric Theatre, and many others. But many managed to avoid the
bulldozer of modern times. Some people started to think it’d be nice to bring the Masonic Temple back to life. At least, those in the Marong, Strathfieldsaye and Eaglehawk municipalities did. The City of Bendigo didn’t rate the “yarts” and wouldn’t buy into the scheme and Huntly thought it had nothing to do with farms, so it wasn’t in on the deal. McIvor wanted a map to find out where View Street was. Rather heroically, the three proCapital councils put their money where their votes were, and – backed 149 per cent by the Addy and its colourful managing editor Reg Macdonald – bought the rotting hulk and started planning its restoration. It was a bitter, argumentative, hateful time and the Addy’s letters pages oozed with animosity, mostly against Reg.
Bitter to the end: the former Shire of Strathfieldsaye’s sacking was used as another reason for amalgamation.
It was clear something had to give. And it did. Then Premier Jeff Kennett sacked 1600 Victorian councillors, created 78 (later 79) councils, put commissioners in charge and forced them to open up their work to competitive tendering. It is now unbelievable that councils could hand out work to mates, cronies, pals or whoever without having to be transparent, but that’s how it was. (One day, if you have time, look up the story of the 1923 Royal Commission into kickbacks and corruption during
Local Government Minister, the unstoppable Roger Hallam, took them on with legislative moves. And a last-ditch effort came from little Marong, whose Mayor Bob Hynes – a remarkable bloke who used to campaign as The Dipstick from the Whipstick – sought an injunction on the day before amalgamation took place. Eaglehawk literally fired its huge civic cannons in the general direction of Bendigo. And so, the Addy’s great source of news, views, madness and mayhem, came to a halt.
It was often argued in the 1990s that a community’s character was more than just dozens of mostly men sitting around cigarette-scarred desks, plotting and planning. I believe that’s been shown to be true, notably with Eaglehawk, Heathcote, Huntly and Kangaroo Flat. They are strong, vibrant individual elements of the broader municipality. They still have their own voices – just not quite so many of them. Some things are best left to memory … such as 57 councillors. The days before amalgamation may have been hectic, petty and non-productive, but by heck it was fun, and no thanks, I don’t want to ever go there again.
The 57 councillors were replaced by commissioners:
Eventually, after four years of arm twisting and state government support, about $6M was put into the old dear and she was re-opened in 1991. Some letter writers are still resentful of spending on the tree-hugging, lefty, long-haired yarts types despite more than two decades of magnificent success, huge crowds and untold millions in economic activity. The now internationally regarded Bendigo Art Gallery has a similar spittle-flecked history. It was therefore no great tragedy to the Addy when just three years later Premier Jeff Kennett said he’d had enough of this silliness and sacked all 210 Victorian councils.
Ready for work: Chief Commissioner Peter Ross Edwards at the Bendigo Marketplace site.
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1994: Former Local Government Minister Roger Hallam with Greater Bendigo Commissioners Les Crofts and Gordon McKern.
Reform broader than cutting Council numbers By The Hon. Roger M. Hallam – Former Minister for Local Government who oversaw the amalgamation of councils in Victoria.
While the changes to Local Government under the Kennett/McNamara Government are commonly titled ‘Amalgamation’, the reform agenda was much broader than simply reducing the number of councils. It was clear that the boundaries applying at that time – as drawn up in the horse and buggy days – were way out of date, but the biggest driver for change was the dramatic shifts in population. For some municipalities this meant the struggle was to meet the demands of growth; for others it was to retain viability and justify the costs of administration.
So while “critical mass” was a primary objective, we also pursued improved efficiency and better reporting standards. More broadly, our aim was to achieve a fundamental change in the culture of Local Government. We wanted councils which were not only accountable and efficient; we wanted them innovative and vibrant, more responsive to community needs and certainly more attractive to potential candidates. Because of the dimension and nature of the reform agenda, the government took three basic decisions: • Establish an independent Local Government Board to undertake a review of existing boundaries (with specific instructions to look beyond multiples of existing units) • Appoint independent commissioners to start up the newly constructed municipal units and oversee the suite of operational reforms
For many of the latter, particularly those which had no major service centre, the levels of efficiency had become embarrassing.
• Appoint experienced Chief Executive Officers to assist the commissioners in that task, but have them recruited from external municipalities
But our starting point was that size alone was not the key to efficiency. I remember arguing that putting two small inefficient councils together was likely to produce a bigger inefficient council.
The overriding objective of this trifecta was to ensure that the reform process was both effective and defendable and that no-one (commissioner or CEO) came to the position with “baggage”.
As expected, changes of such dramatic proportions gave our critics a field day. Not surprisingly, many councillors lamented the loss of their position and influence, not to mention their municipality. And, our political opponents likened the appointment of commissioners as the “death of democracy”. It is relevant to note that Labor’s attempts to amalgamate the council comprising the Geelong community had been opposed by the Coalition and our argument that this was because the changes did not go far enough, was a difficult policy position to prosecute. So while we had some enthusiastic supporters, and there was general acceptance of the need for local government reform, our program engendered some really fierce resistance and some really novel logic and strategies – from both sides. For example, I can now admit to floating some deliberately provocative names for the new municipalities just to divert the debate from the bigger issues. In hindsight, the only thing I would change is at the margin. I reckon I would go harder and faster while the mandate was fresh and the political pendulum in our favour.
reforms, and that the general community has received real benefits through operational efficiency and expanded services. Not even our most ardent critics want to go back to the pre-reform days. Elections now create real interest in the community and local government now offers a real career path for our best and brightest. The biggest winners from the reform agenda have been our regional communities given that the infighting and its attendant waste of resources have given way to big picture promotion and regional pride. But in all of this, the reality is that the only constant is change, and over the 20 years since the reform agenda was introduced, there have been some dramatic shifts in the Victorian community. Whole new suburbs and cities have sprung up and some rural communities have really struggled. Let’s hope that the changes of the early 1990s become a spur to allow local government to remain relevant to the changes of the future.
I have no doubt that Local Government is much stronger following these
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Recognising those who
Celebrating 20 years since Amalgamation: L-R standing Cr Barry Lyons, Cr Rod Fyffe, Maurie Sharkey (former commissioner and Mayor), Alec Sandner, Laurie Whelan, Daryl McClure L-R sitting Barry Ackerman, Julie Rivendell, Gordon McKern (former commissioner), Cr Rod Campbell, Willi Carney.
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served our community Over the past 20 years, 29 Greater Bendigo residents have served our community as elected Councillors and of these 15 have served as Mayors.
with seven newly created wards to represent the interests of Greater Bendigo’s residents located in both urban and rural areas.
When Greater Bendigo was formed in April 1994 Commissioners Peter Ross Edwards, Gordon McKern and Les Crofts and later Maurie Sharkey and the late Maxine Crouch were appointed by the State Government to oversee the newly created municipality.
The following is a summary of the City of Greater Bendigo’s elected representatives who have guided the growth and success of our municipality over the past 20 years.
In April 1996 Greater Bendigo returned to a democratically elected Council
November (election term 2004 to 2008, election term changed from March to November, new 9 ward structure introduced and ward names changed) Cr Rod Fyffe, Golden Square Ward (Mayor 2004/2005) Cr David Jones, Kangaroo Flat Ward (Mayor 2005/2006 and 2007/2008) Cr Julie Rivendel, Flora Hill Ward (Mayor 2006/2007)
We acknowledge the time and effort given by the following people and thank them all for serving our community.
Cr Kevin Gibbins, North West Plains Ward Cr Wayne Gregson, Sandhurst Ward Cr Elaine Harrington, Eaglehawk Ward Cr Trudi McClure, Epsom Ward
Cr Keith Reynard, Strathfieldsaye Ward
March (term 1996 to 1999) Cr Megan Weston, Eaglehawk Ward (Mayor 1996/1997)
Cr Greg Williams, Eppalock Ward Rod Fyffe
Cr Barry Ackerman, Grassy Flat Ward (Mayor 1997/1998)
November (term 2008 to 2012)
Cr Maurie Sharkey, Whipstick Ward (Mayor 1998/1999)
Cr Kevin Gibbins, North West Plains Ward (Mayor 2008/2009)
Cr Daryl McClure, Sandhurst Ward Cr Ann Jones, Diamond Hill Ward
Cr Rod Campbell, Eppalock Ward (Mayor 2009/2010)
Cr Laurie Whelan, Eppalock Ward
Cr Rod Fyffe, Golden Square Ward (Mayor 2010/2011)
Cr Rod Fyffe, Fortuna Ward
Cr Alec Sandner, Flora Hill Ward (Mayor 2011/2012)
Cr Keith Reynard, Strathfieldsaye Ward Cr James Reade, Sandhurst Ward
Cr Peter Cox, Eaglehawk Ward
March (term 1999 to 2002)
Cr Lisa Ruffell, Epsom Ward
Cr Daryl McClure, Sandhurst Ward (Mayor 1999/2000)
Cr Barry Lyons, Kangaroo Flat Ward
Cr Laurie Whelan, Eppalock Ward (Mayor 2000/2001)
Cr Bruce Phillips, North West Plains Ward (was elected to represent the North West Plains Ward in a by-election following the death of Cr Kevin Gibbins in April 2009)
Cr Barry Ackerman, Grassy Flat Ward (Mayor 2001/2002) Cr Willi Carney, Eaglehawk Ward Cr Rod Fyffe, Fortuna Ward
Cr Ann Jones Diamond, Hill Ward
November (term 2012 to 2016, new three ward, three councillor ward structure introduced)
Cr Maurie Sharkey, Whipstick Ward Cr Julian Hood, Whipstick Ward (elected at by-election in December 2001 following the resignation of Cr Sharkey)
Cr Lisa Ruffell, Whipstick Ward (Mayor 2012/2013) Cr Barry Lyons, Lockwood Ward (Mayor 2013/2014)
Cr Rod Campbell, Eppalock Ward Cr Peter Cox, Whipstick Ward
Cr Elise Chapman, Lockwood Ward
March (term 2002 to 2004)
Cr Mark Weragoda, Eppalock Ward
Cr Willi Carney, Eaglehawk Ward (Mayor 2002/2003)
Cr James Williams, Whipstick Ward
Cr Rod Fyffe, Fortuna Ward (Mayor 2003/2004)
Cr Rod Fyffe, Lockwood Ward Cr Helen Leach, Eppalock Ward
Cr Greg Williams, Eppalock Ward (Mayor 2004) Cr Daryl McClure, Sandhurst Ward
Cr Bruce Phillips, Grassy Flat Ward Cr Kevin Gibbins, Whipstick Ward Cr Alan Besley, Diamond Hill Ward Cr Elaine Harrington, Eaglehawk Ward (elected at by-election held November 2003 following the resignation of Cr Willi Carney)
Chief Executive Officers Vern Robson Interim CEO (1994)
Andrew Paul (1999 – 2003)
Peter Seamer (1994 – 1996)
John McLean (2003 – 2007)
Hadley Sides (1996 – 1999)
Craig Niemann (2007 – present)
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Honouring our Citizens
Citizens of the Year Honour roll 2014 Citizen of the Year Gordon McKern and Young Citizen Skye Kinder.
Each year since 1995 the City of Greater Bendigo has honoured two residents by naming them the Citizen of the Year and the Young Citizen of the Year. These annual Citizen of the Year awards are announced just prior to Australia Day and aim to recognise outstanding local individuals who have made a significant contribution to our community. The City calls for nominations from the community for these awards. Nominations can be made in a number of categories, including community service, arts, sport, science and technology, regional development/business, career achievement and the environment. The Citizenship awards pay tribute to the diversity and depth of achievement and the values that we as Australians consider important. Since 1995, there have only been joint winners of the Citizen of the Year twice in 2006 and again in 2007. An honour board located in the stairwell at the Bendigo Town Hall proudly displays the name of all the City of Greater Bendigo Citizen of the Year recipients.
1995 - Citizen of the Year Olive Bice and Young Citizen of the Year Naomi Pratt 1996 - Citizen of the Year Heather Lindhe and Young Citizen of the Year Kellie Wheelhouse 1997 - Citizen of the Year Margaret Cook and Young Citizen of the Year Evelyn Ng 1998 - Citizen of the Year Barrie Cooper and Young Citizen of the Year Sally Branson 1999 - Citizen of the Year Rob Hunt and Young Citizen of the Year Ben Hunt 2000 - Citizen of the Year George Flack and Young Citizen of the Year Elaine Tho 2001 - Citizen of the Year Greta Balsille and Young Citizen of the Year Claire Ormerod
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2002 - Citizen of the Year Fay Buerger and Young Citizen of the Year Anneliese Diedrichs 2003 - Citizen of the Year Leon Scott and Young Citizen of the Year Katie Goldsworthy 2004 - Citizen of the Year Ian Dyett JP and Young Citizen of the Year Shaun Thompson 2005 - Citizen of the Year Angela Mitchell and Young Citizen of the Year Helen Dyett 2006 - Citizen of the Year (Joint Winners) Peter Krenz (deceased) and Lariane Leask and Young Citizen of the Year James Reade 2007 - Citizen of the Year (Joint Winners) Dr Wal McGregor and Graeme Gordon and Young Citizen of the Year Dani Kline
2008 - C itizen of the Year Russell Jack and Young Citizen of the Year Daniel Giles 2009 - C itizen of the Year Estelle Waterman and Young Citizen of the Year Nicholas Kimberley 2010 - C itizen of the Year Michael McKern and Young Citizen of the Year Alexander Eastwood 2011 - C itizen of the Year Patti Cotton and Young Citizen of the Year Emma Lewis 2012 - C itizen of the Year Robert Cook and Young Citizen of the Year Patrick Clark 2013 - C itizen of the Year Linda Beilharz and Young Citizen of the Year Amethyst Downing 2014 - C itizen of the Year Gordon McKern and Young Citizen of the Year Skye Kinder
Our glorious Town Hall
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A building of significance Few Victorian municipalities boast a town hall as beautiful or grand as the Bendigo Town Hall. This building of national significance is listed on both the Register of the National Estate and the Victorian Heritage Register. The original building was designed in 1859 by town clerk George Avery Fletcher. This was followed by a further addition of a Council Chamber in 1866 and a hall for the trading of grain known as the “Corn Exchange” was added in 1871-72. Although the architecture of the addition adhered to that of the
original building, the completed building was not liked by both the citizens and the council of the day. In a series of major works between 1878 and 1902, the hall was transformed by renowned architect William C Vahland who was commissioned to undertake the task of converting it into something befitting the city of gold. Vahland commissioned Otto Waschatz who was fresh from decorating the royal palace at Copenhagan to design the Town Hall interior and when the work was completed in 1885 the
modest building the people of Bendigo had known had been totally transformed. This work included extensive offices, enlargement of the main hall, introduction of a superb interior decorative scheme and Mansard Roof, the unified exterior facades were remodelled in the classical style and a clock tower was added but no clock was installed. The end result was W.C. Vahland’s most remarkable work and the finest boom style building of its type in Victoria.
In 2001 the Town Hall was the venue for an historic sitting of the Victorian State Parliament, the first sitting to be held outside of Melbourne.
A unique place in our history The Town Hall was the meeting place in the lead up to Federation when Sir Henry Parkes presided over the inauguration of the local branch of the Federation League at a packed meeting held at the Town Hall. It was also the venue for a grand rally prior to the Federation Referendum. In 1901 it was used by the people of Bendigo to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Discovery of Gold with a Gold Jubilee Exhibition. This was a very ambitious exhibition with Australia’s first Prime Minister, Edmond Barton, in attendance. In 1936 the interior of the Town Hall was threatened by a
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proposal to convert it to a cinema and in the 1950’s the majority of the mural panels were painted over in what was thought to be a major improvement at the time. The building was unsuccessfully offered for sale to the Public Works Department in 1973 and its demolition was narrowly averted in the early 1970s. The City of Greater Bendigo recognised the importance of the building and in 1996 committed to a multi-million dollar, staged, long term restoration/ conservation project to bring this important building back to its former glory.
In 2001 the Town Hall was the venue for an historic sitting of the Victorian State Parliament which was the first time State Parliament had sat outside of Melbourne. In 2005 Vahland’s vision for the clock tower came to fruition thanks to the generosity of the Bendigo Advertiser and the Rotary Club of Bendigo. The installation of the new clock was largely funded by gifts from the Rotary Club of Bendigo to recognise the Centenary of Rotary International and the Bendigo Advertiser to mark the newspapers 150th Anniversary in 2004.
Town Hall brought back to life The Town Hall has been brought back to life as a functional and useable community asset since the 1994 council amalgamations. The restoration began in 1996 with extensive repairs to the building’s roof. At this time the building was also treated to control a white ant infestation and floodlighting was installed to enhance the exterior of the building. This was followed by work to rectify major rising damp damage to the basement in order to stop it spreading to other parts of the building. Stage 2 works included the removal of the stage (which had been installed in 1929) and proscenium arch in the main hall and the re-instatement of the balcony, foyer and the original Hargreaves Street entry. This stage of the works also included the installation of the Hargreaves Street forecourt and the footway area at the civic gardens side of the hall. Stage 3 of the project was the actual restoration of the main hall interior including the painting of the hall, foyer and balcony, restoration/conservation of murals, replication of the stencil and art work and the application of gold leaf to decorative features. Stages 4 and 5 centred around the Lyttleton Terrace double storey section and included new toilet facilities, installation of a passenger lift, removal of a 1920’s canopy, repairs to the windows, render, stairs, painting and provision of access for the disabled. Also included in this stage was the installation of heating and cooling, electricity and data and an upgrade of all servicing to the building. A full restoration of the old Council Chambers and its wonderful murals was undertaken by Conservator Barbara Schafer who was also responsible for the magnificent gold leafing work in the main hall. While the restoration was an enormous, labour intensive and costly project it has brought one of our most treasured heritage buildings back to life to become a functional public building with the ability to cater for a range of community events and special occasions. The multi-million restoration project was undertaken by the City with funding support from the State Government through Heritage Victoria and the Federal Government. More specialist work is still required to improve the acoustic performance and mechanical services of the Town Hall and this work will take place when funding becomes available in the future.
Town Hall available for your special function The Bendigo Town Hall is the perfect location for a range of functions and events with style and elegance. As one of the most spectacular venues in central Victoria featuring a minstrel’s gallery high above the guests you can be assured that your banquet, wedding, party, conference, trade show, in fact any event, will be the most talked about of the year. To discuss your event and find out more about Bendigo Town Hall call the venue manager on (03) 4408 6500.
Take a tour of the Town Hall If you’ve never visited the Bendigo Town Hall why not take a tour.
extensive hand painted murals and delicate gold leafing.
The Bendigo Visitor Centre runs regular guided tours of the Bendigo Town Hall. The tours allow people to step back into Bendigo’s golden era and experience one of the most remarkable boom time buildings in Victoria.
Tours cost $2.50 per person and are held at 2pm Wednesdays and 11am Sundays. Bookings are essential and can be made at the Bendigo Visitor Centre in Pall Mall (subject to Town Hall availability). For more information please contact the Bendigo Visitor Centre on 1800 813 153.
Participants will marvel at the stunning exterior features, elaborate plasterwork,
Attend a Council Meeting at the Town Hall Council meetings are held every third Wednesday in the Bendigo Town Hall Reception Room at 6pm and all interested people are very welcome to attend. For dates of upcoming Council Meetings can be found online. If you cannot make it to a Council meeting you can also listen to our live broadcast on Phoenix FM 106.7 www.phoenixfm.org Meeting Agendas can also be found online or at the meeting. www.bendigo.vic.gov.au/agendas
Original Victorian-era council furniture has been preserved for future generations and is on display in the old Council Chamber.
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The 20 years that changed
From a single level car park to multi-levels, the new Edward Street Car Park Complex.
During the past 20 years an enormous amount of change and growth has occurred throughout Greater Bendigo. Some significant projects undertaken that are now part of our community’s daily life include: • Undergrounding of power lines in the centre of Bendigo
• Discovery Science and Technology Museum development • Development of the indoor heated swimming pool at Eaglehawk • Construction of the Chinese Gardens • Construction of the Bendigo Livestock Exchange
• Major restoration of the Alexandra Fountain
• Refurbishment of the former Post Office into Bendigo Visitor Centre
• Construction of the Bendigo Exhibition Centre
• Construction of Campaspe Run at Elmore
• Restoration of the Capital Theatre
• Construction of the Bendigo Regional Athletics Centre
Hidden heritage: The removal of the Bendigo Art Gallery’s 1950’s entrance revealed the buildings original facade.
• Construction of Flora Hill Stadium
• New synthetic pitch installed at Garden Gully Hockey oval
• Installation of the recycled water pipeline
• Extension of the Eaglehawk Badminton Centre
• Redevelopment of Rosalind Park, including restoration of the historic water cascades
• New sporting reserves in Strathfieldsaye and Epsom/ Huntly
• Redevelopment of the Bendigo Botanic Gardens and Eaglehawk’s Canterbury Gardens
• New McKern Skate park in Eaglehawk
• Ongoing development of the O’Keefe Trail
• Construction of Dai Gum San Chinese Precinct
• Major restorations at Bendigo Town Hall, Dudley House, Heathcote Guide Hall, Athenaeum Hall Elmore and Eaglehawk Town Hall • Major redevelopment and extension of the Bendigo Art Gallery and development of View Street Arts Precinct • Lake Weeroona redevelopment and the installation of boardwalk and paths
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• Construction of the new multi-use facility and redevelopment of Bendigo Aquatic Centre • Construction of the B-Central Youth Resource Centre
• Redevelopment of Hargreaves Mall
• Construction of new Edwards Street Car park
the face of Greater Bendigo
Then: Greater Bendigoâ€™s first indoor heated pool under construction at Eaglehawk and now: the Peter Krenz Leisure Centre is a much valued community facility.
Myers Street with powerlines and now powerline free.
The Chinese Precinct is now a beautiful community and event space.
Then: McKern Skate Park under construction and now: one of the regionâ€™s most popular facilities for young people.
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Now: The Bendigo Livestock Exchange is a popular livestock buying and selling market.
New Saleyards prove a wise decision The idea of relocating the old Bendigo Saleyards, which had been operating in Charleston Road since 1861, was the subject of intense debate over many years between the former municipalities that now comprise the City of Greater Bendigo. It was only after the formation of the City in 1994 that the idea to finally close down the old saleyards and construct a new facility in Wallenjoe Road Huntly finally became a reality. The new Bendigo Livestock Exchange was officially opened in 1997 and while the long and difficult process of building a new saleyard facility is now just a distant memory, the Bendigo Livestock Exchange is now a fully accredited sheep, cattle and pig selling complex under the national Saleyard Quality Assurance Program. The Bendigo Livestock Exchange transacts a quarter of the stateâ€™s saleyard sold sheep and
lambs, selling an impressive 1,119,952 sheep, 15,399 cattle and 3,862 pigs during the 2012/13 financial year. The Greater Bendigo region has reaped the economic benefits of constructing the livestock exchange which has become a very important contributor to the regionâ€™s local economy. The centre generates some 86 jobs both directly and indirectly and provides an overall economic value to the region of $23.5M annually. The Bendigo Livestock Exchange is proudly owned and operated by the City and employs two full-time people, three part-time and a number of casual employees at peak times. In keeping with the traditions of the old saleyards the Bendigo Livestock Exchange still holds its sheep sales on a Monday. It also hosts a cattle sale each week and a pig sale each month.
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Then: Selling at the old saleyards in Charleston Road.
Community plans inspire change
Axedale Our Town - Our Future community group members: Ann Mason, Yvonne Wrigglesworth, Phil Hughes, Dos Gunn and Helen Byrne.
It is not just the centre of Bendigo that has experienced significant change over the past 20 years. Amalgamation has required Greater Bendigo’s rural communities and small towns to also adapt to this broader regional focus.
new municipality’s smaller communities were prompted to review how to best maintain a voice and to identify, develop and deliver local priorities for their towns.
Prior to amalgamation, each smaller Shire had its own local decision-making focus.
In 2005, the Bendigo +25 initiative commenced to bring people together and develop a picture of how Greater Bendigo should look in the years to come.
When these Shires joined together to form the City of Greater Bendigo, the
The result was the development of several blueprints that act as a
guide for small townships and neighbourhoods across Greater Bendigo to realise their potential and give them a voice. Axedale has a population of approximately 550 people and is proof a small community can be a proud and productive community. Axedale’s Yvonne Wrigglesworth, President of Axedale Our Town – Our Future Inc., said completing the Axedale Community Plan has helped drive change in the community.
“It’s something to hang our hat on and base our communications, our marketing and our website around, so people can see how they might get involved,” Ms Wrigglesworth said. “The Plan gives us a focus and we look forward to implementing our six-point plan to attract new residents and visitors to the town and inspire those already living there to have an active role in the future of Axedale.”
Community Senate, will be held on Sunday May 25 and will bring together local community groups, sporting clubs, business and not for profit groups to share ideas and identify future opportunities for the town. For further information visit www.axedalevictoria.net
The Axedale community’s next major project, the Axedale
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Responding to the needs of a modern city
Our ambition is to be the best By Craig Niemann – Chief Executive Officer of the City of Greater Bendigo.
In 2014, we are a confident, vibrant, progressive community aspiring to become the best and most liveable regional City in Australia. Greater Bendigo, including the townships of Heathcote, Elmore and Marong and our many rural areas, has a population of around 105,000, up from around 80,000 in 1994 and anticipated to reach 143,000 by 2030. Our economy is strong and diverse and we have high quality education providers, including campuses for La Trobe and Monash universities. A new $630M state-of-the-art hospital is being built in Bendigo by the Victorian Government. Our demographics are changing, with many people from other countries including India, Philippines, China, Myanmar and South Africa choosing to make Greater Bendigo their home. Like our population, the organisation that provides services and builds and maintains infrastructure – the City of Greater Bendigo – is growing to meet demand. Today, we employ around 1000 staff who are catering for our changing community by delivering a large array of services and projects. The City’s annual Budget is $180M a year, including a capital and major works budget of some $50M and we manage assets worth $1.26B. With help from State and Federal Governments, we are undertaking major projects that will not only benefit our city into the future but also the region as a whole. We are: • Building the new Ulumbarra Theatre at the Old Bendigo Gaol • Planning for the Greater Bendigo Indoor Aquatic Leisure and Wellbeing Centre at Kangaroo Flat • Beginning the staged development of Bendigo Airport • Implementing the award winning Bendigo Botanic Gardens Master Plan
Earlier this year the new generation Bendigo Library and the expanded Bendigo Art Gallery were opened. Our Economic Development Unit is continuously on the look-out for new employment opportunities as it works with the State Government to attract new investment to our city and region. The unit is also actively working towards the establishment of a new business park to be developed near Marong. The City is also looking at how best to deliver 21st century services to our community. This might mean that some services are no longer needed and that new ones are added. With a population that is growing in all age groups, we are looking at the types of services that will be needed in the future. We are also looking at how to best provide services for our young children through a review of our early childhood services. This is seeing a change in focus of some of the services we provide. For example, obesity has been identified as an issue in serious need of addressing so in partnership with the State Government we have established Healthy Together Bendigo. The initiative is aimed at improving people’s health where they live, learn, work and play by addressing the causes of overweightness, obesity and chronic disease. With a locally based team, the emphasis of health prevention is put back into local hands.
has an appetite for being kept informed and involved in the decisions that matter to them. Delivering projects and planning for the future is made easier if the community understands why decisions are made and are given a chance to have their say. With this in mind, the City has developed a Community Engagement Framework. The framework ensures that residents understand when and how we will consult and when council needs to make a decision on behalf of the community. We are also committed to keeping our community well informed and we have a communications and media team dedicated to this task. Facebook and Twitter are used to keep our community up-to-date with the latest news and events as is our website at www.bendigo.vic.gov.au Media releases are issued regularly and the publication you are reading now is published quarterly and delivered to households across Greater Bendigo. Today, Greater Bendigo is a large city surrounded by a region of small communities. Together, they form a progressive, vibrant and successful community. We are recognised across the State as a success story and we are 100 per cent focused on our goal to be the best and most livable regional city in Australia.
Healthy Together Bendigo is working with local partners to encourage healthy eating and physical activity and reduce smoking and harmful alcohol use in the community. One of the most expensive services the City provides is collecting and managing our waste. In 2012-2013, the City managed 113,331 tonnes of waste and recycling at a cost of $16.15M. Last month we released a Waste and Resource Management Strategy to look at how to minimise our waste and reduce costs. Perhaps more than at any other time in our history, the community
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Our place in the region As we grow, the State Government is encouraging municipalities like ours to take a regional approach to decision-making. Doing so acknowledges that the impacts of decisions often do not stop at our local government boundaries. Greater Bendigo is part of the Loddon Mallee region, which stretches south to the outskirts of Melbourne and north to the State border with NSW, and encompasses 10 local government areas. As the largest municipality, the City takes on a significant leadership role in the region. This has been most recently evident through the development of the Loddon Mallee South Regional Growth Plan which has been adopted by Council. It covers the southern part of the region and encompasses five local government areas and has been developed with significant input from the City. I have had direct involvement as a member of the Project Steering Committee. The plan’s objective is to look at how best to plan for regional growth over the next 30 years by providing direction to future decision making that relates to the economy, environment, farm land, infrastructure and transport. It looks at the important relationship between Melbourne and Bendigo, and between Bendigo, as a regional centre, and the many smaller communities in the region. The Loddon Mallee South Region currently has a population of over 180,000 and the plan caters for a regional population of up to 300,000. Bendigo itself is projected to have a population of between 150,000 and 200,000. The plan reinforces Bendigo’s role as a leading regional city, offering a range of job opportunities and services as an alternative to Melbourne. It states Bendigo’s population growth will require the provision of around 25,000 to 40,000 new jobs. Bendigo will not only provide jobs and services for its growing population but also continue to grow its role as the service and employment centre for the region. Craig Niemann, CEO
Reflecting on the development of a great regional city By Gordon McKern â€“ Former Commissioner, businessman and Citizen of the Year 2014.
Bendigo has always been a very liveable city but, in my opinion, it is even more so now than it was 20 years ago. Council amalgamation in 1994 created the City of Greater Bendigo. This has probably been the most important catalyst for change in living memory. Many residents still have fond memories of the old municipal boundaries, and rightly so, but there is also a strong sense of pride and ownership in being a resident of Greater Bendigo. The population has not only grown significantly to its current level of approximately 105,000, it has also become far more diversified and multicultural. This year 174 residents have taken the Pledge of Commitment to become Australian citizens and further citizenship ceremonies will be held
regularly during the year for people from many countries. Another contributing factor to Greater Bendigoâ€™s rising population has been the return of former residents for lifestyle reasons. Having been elsewhere for further education and to start a career for themselves, many now have young families and are looking forward to giving their children the same regional upbringing they had. The parks and gardens of Bendigo are wonderful and none more so than Rosalind Park, which was improved greatly in 1994 and 1995 by the removal of buildings on the corner of Pall Mall and View Street to make it more accessible and visually pleasing to the public. The Bendigo Botanic Gardens have also been improved with more works achieved. The View Street Arts Precinct has developed into what is now recognised as one of the finest in regional Australia.
The remarkably successful Bendigo Art Gallery, the Capital Theatre, La Trobe University Visual Art Centre and Dudley House have not only attracted incredible tourism numbers but also provided a focus for enjoyment of the arts and entertainment for all residents. The continual development of the Chinese precinct, the progress of The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion and a proposal to construct a Mosque provide further evidence of the growing cultural diversity the City is experiencing. St Paulâ€™s Cathedral is also being restored to its full glory, whilst major projects are planned to enhance the Sacred Heart Cathedral. Perhaps the most visible indicators of growth in Greater Bendigo over the past 20 years are in the fields of health and education. The new multi-million dollar Bendigo Hospital is under construction and shortly a further extension to St John of God Hospital will commence.
Monash, Melbourne and La Trobe universities also operate Schools of Rural Health locally. La Trobe University has enlarged its Flora Hill campus significantly. At the primary and secondary levels of education the merger and subsequent rebuilding of a number of Government Schools has been matched by substantial growth in the Catholic and Independent school systems. I could go on about the improvements to water and waste management, the relocation of the saleyards, development of new sporting facilities and the changing face of industry, but this is only part of what makes Greater Bendigo an even more liveable region in 2014. We are all a part of what makes Greater Bendigo a wonderful place. What is most evident is the pride we have in our community that will continue to make our region one of the best places to live, work and play in regional Australia.
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Snapshot: 50 services we provid
Building and maintaining roads, drains and footpaths
11. Facilitating and promoting major events
21. Supporting the Bendigo Easter Festival
Rubbish and recycling collection from properties and businesses
12. Livestock Exchange at Epsom
22. Tree planting
13. Developing long-term strategic plans
14. Promoting economic development
23. Local law enforcement to maintain order and public safety
Parks, gardens and reserves
Answering customer requests for information and assistance
Facilitating community engagement activities
15. Building major projects such as the new generation Bendigo Library, Edward Street Car Park and Ulumbarra Theatre
Communicating Council decisions, policies and actions
Providing Â a community grants program
Operating Visitor Centres at Bendigo and Heathcote
10. Promoting tourism inside and outside the region
16. Supporting libraries at Bendigo, Kangaroo Flat, Eaglehawk and Heathcote
24. Animal and Parking Control 25. School Crossing supervisors 26. Planning advice 27. Building advice 28. Planning Scheme Amendments 29. Planning Permits
17. Provision of home care and food services to frail aged and disabled
30. Heritage advice for the preservation and restoration of heritage buildings
18. Undertaking safety checks and home safety maintenance to frail aged and disabled people
31. Road sign installation
19. Maternal and child health 20. Public toilets
32. Providing and maintaining recreation facilities such as swimming pools and ovals to encourage and promote good health and fitness
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33. Providing advice and support to community and recreation groups in their management of council owned facilities 34. Delivering the Healthy Together Bendigo Program 35. Working with other organisations across the community service sector to contribute to government policies and projects that focus on the needs and aspirations of our community 36. Supporting neighbourhood houses 37. Facilitating a range of committees that provide advice to the City on various issues such as farming, community safety and positive ageing 38. Providing and maintaining play spaces for children and families 39. Risk management advice
ide for our community in 2014
2 40. The Capital 41. Bendigo Art Gallery 42. Promoting activities in the Hargreaves Mall and Central Business District 43. Operating landfills at Eaglehawk and Heathcote 44. Managing the Eaglehawk Eco Centre 45. Managing Transfer Stations 46. Operating Early Learning Centres 47. Environmental Health Services 48. Supporting families in accessing preschool and playgroups 49. Emergency management services in the event of fire, flood or other major emergency event
In 2014, the City oversees assets worth $1.26B, including: • 290 bridges; 1,438kms of sealed roads and 1,400kms of unsealed roads; 728kms of footpaths; 1,082kms of kerb and channel; 890kms of underground drains; 39,592 drainage pits; and more than 280,000 square metres of paved area • Over 800 public buildings; over 80 toilet blocks; and a range of public furniture, statues and monuments • Over 70 sporting reserves; 20 heritage and formal gardens; 310 passive recreation reserves, including 120 playgrounds; 170 natural reserves; and more than 100,000 nature strip trees.
In an average year, the services we deliver include: • Providing around 120,000 hours of HACC services for our elderly and people with disabilities • Administering around 13,000 immunisations • Registering some 18,000 dogs and 6,000 cats and responding to 6,000 requests for animal control services • Staffing Visitor Centres in Bendigo and Heathcote that receive around 115,000 visitors • Facilitating around 90 business engagement activities to help stimulate economic activity • Supervising close to 50 school crossings to enable children to get to and from school safely
• Undertaking up to 1,000 food premises inspections • Facilitating around 1,000 community engagement activities • Planting some 1,500 street trees • Collecting waste from over 44,000 residential properties which equates to around 28,000 tonnes of garbage and 10,000 tonnes of recycling • Resealing over 50kms of roads and building around 20kms of kerb and channel • Sweeping 3,500kms of kerb and channel
50. Promoting sustainability
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Prioritising roads, footpaths and other works By Darren Fuzzard – Director of Presentation and Assets
infrastructure projects. Services also have to be provided and we know there are high community expectations about the standards of that service delivery. So the City has to prioritise.
Every year the City receives tens of thousands of requests for work. Fortunately, in many cases, these requests are small enough to be accommodated within normal maintenance budgets and they are completed within weeks or months. In other cases though, the cost of the works can be substantial and the wait can be a great deal longer. This wait reflects one of the big challenges for Bendigo; maintaining old infrastructure to an acceptable standard while providing new infrastructure to meet a fast growing city’s needs, and doing it with a finite amount of funds. Of course, the City could raise more revenue by further increasing rates, introducing a special infrastructure levy (like the City of Ballarat) or borrowing larger sums of money. But none of these measures are palatable and even if they were it would still be impossible to meet community expectations. In fact, we estimate the back log of these ‘community expectations’ for infrastructure works to be valued in excess of $500M. To put that in context, it’s around three times the City’s total annual budget, which must cover more than just
This starts with ensuring that the investment in fixing (renewing) old infrastructure matches the rate at which the City’s more than $1B in assets is theoretically wearing out. And that means around $30M is spent each year on fixing old drains, footpaths, bike paths, roads, kerbs, community halls, recreation clubrooms, community centres, BBQ’s, statues and more. To allocate these ‘renewal’ funds we use scoring systems that identify how much ‘benefit’ to the community a certain project will provide and compare this to its cost. Projects which give higher total benefit at lower cost (when compared against other similar projects) are then recommended for funding first. Once these funds have been allocated, the City looks to its list of potential ‘new’ infrastructure projects. Again, available funds are allocated through a competitive process. However in this case, projects for new infrastructure of any type must compete against each other. For example, a new road must compete with a new sports pavilion or a new footpath. The annual budget of Council is a complicated and challenging process that doesn’t always mean the project you believe should be done gets funded but it will at least be considered.
Did you know? It costs $350,000 to build one kilometre of new sealed road. It costs $160,000 to build one kilometre of new unsealed road. It costs $75,000 to reseal one kilometre of existing sealed road. It costs $130,000 to construct one kilometre of new footpath. It costs $300,000 to construct one kilometre of new drainage pits and pipes. It costs $110,000 to construct one kilometre of new kerb and channel. *Approximate costs per average kilometre.
What does our logo mean? In 2000 the City of Greater Bendigo introduced a new corporate logo to take the City forward into the new millennium. The City’s distinctive contemporary logo represents Bendigo’s rich golden heritage and how, as a municipality, Greater Bendigo continues to grow. While the logo is now a very familiar and recognisable
sight around the municipality many people may not realise the symbolism behind the logo design. The dark grey area at the bottom of the sign represents bedrock; the white line, quartz; the yellow line, gold; and the burgundy coloured top section symbolises how the municipality has developed and grown over the years.
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The main feature of the logo, the poppet head, has long been a unique and familiar symbol of Bendigo and is the dominant feature of the logo.
Building a better Hospital Precinct The new Bendigo Hospital will be a vital piece of public infrastructure that will attract new residents, generate new business, jobs and enterprise and encourage collaboration between education and research organisations. It will also significantly change Bendigo’s CBD. The City’s Hospital Precinct Structure Plan is designed to capitalise on the new Hospital’s development by coordinating land use, public space, urban design, access and public infrastructure in the precinct around the Hospital. The draft plan is centred on delivering five primary concepts: • Extend the City centre along Bridge Street to the Hospital • Define a logical Health Precinct • Establish a park-like setting around the Hospital • Create Public Entry Boulevards to the new Hospital • Create more options to improve accessibility Director of Planning and Development Prue Mansfield said a draft plan will soon be released for public comment, following extensive community consultation. “More than 400 people responded to the concept plan for the precinct. We asked people how they used the precinct and what they wanted to see more and less of,” Ms Mansfield said.
“City officers and residents explored key issues such as accessibility, safer streets, where more intense development should take place and what areas should remain with minimal change; how to extend the park-like environs that have driven the new Hospital design; and car parking. “Proposals will include providing a design for Bridge Street which will support more businesses with dwellings in ‘shop top’ housing, the creation of pocket parks and the potential for a new multi-deck car park. “The precinct is on the doorstep of the CBD and will naturally attract more people to the area, so the draft plan will consider how to progressively integrate new housing into the area. “The planning process is flexible and we are open to analysis, dialogue, debate and creative thinking.
Receive your rate notice digitally The City of Greater Bendigo has teamed up with Australia Post to enable people to pay their rates via a secure digital mailbox. Ratepayers can apply to Australia Post for a free digital mailbox. Once the digital mailbox is active, they can then apply to receive their rate notices (both annual and instalments) in the digital mailbox rather than in the post. The rates account can be paid from the digital mailbox. The digital mailbox also contains other features, including eReminders for bills and secure documents storage for seven years and there is only one password to remember. Further information and registration can be found at www.auspost.com. au/parcels-mail/digital-mailbox.html Rates can also be received electronically by using:
• BPAY View – is a feature most online bank accounts will have. Customers can apply through their bank account to receive rate notices (both annual and instalments) via their online bank account. Accounts can then be paid from the online bank account utilising BPay. Further information can be found at www.bpay.com. au/Personal/Receiving-bills-withBPAY-View.aspx • Formsport enables ratepayers to receive their annual and instalment rate notices via email. Ratepayers will need to register online to receive rate notices in this manner. Further information and registration can be found at www.bendigo.formsport.com.au For more information go to www.bendigo.vic.gov. au/rates
“The Hospital precinct is going to serve our community for years to come, so it is important it operates efficiently and effectively for all user groups.” For more information on the planning process to date, please visit www.bendigo.vic.gov.au/hospitalprecinct
EXISTING BENDIGO BASE HOSPITAL
NEW BENDIGO HOSPITAL
BENDIGO CITY CENTRE
Meeting demand: A new $630M state-of-the-art hospital is being built to service our growing population.
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Building a Gre
Bendigo Art Gallery extension unveiled Following a recent $8.5M expansion Greater Bendigo now boasts not only the best, but also the largest art gallery in regional Australia. The Bendigo Art Gallery expansion project has included construction of six new gallery spaces, an enhanced entrance, much needed new storage space and loading facilities, better linkages between the gallery and the café and the creation of a striking frontage to Rosalind Park. Since 1996, Bendigo Art Gallery has undergone four carefully staged redevelopments to enhance its look and feel and this latest expansion has tied
together the previous modifications and incorporated additional space for the gallery to continue to present a varied and interesting range of exhibitions that appeal to a diverse audience.
“By investing in the Art Gallery we ensure our community remains at the forefront as a cultural destination and that’s simply good for everyone,” said Cr Lyons.
Greater Bendigo Mayor Cr Barry Lyons said in recent years Bendigo Art Gallery has captured the attention of the national media for its innovative exhibitions.
“The expansion project is a major part of the City of Greater Bendigo’s View Street Precinct Master Plan and Council’s ongoing commitment to provide facilities that enhance the lives of our residents.
“This national spotlight has put Bendigo on the map as a cultural destination for interesting and ‘only to be seen in Bendigo’ exhibitions. It’s positive publicity that has been great for our city with the spin-off effect of cultural visitation greatly benefiting our region’s local economy.
“The Bendigo Art Gallery expansion, the new Bendigo Library and the construction of the new 1,000 seat Ulumbarra Theatre at the old Bendigo Gaol site heralds exciting times for our region and all of these important cultural and educational facilities are playing an enormously
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important role in making the Greater Bendigo region one of the most liveable in Victoria. “I encourage residents who haven’t visited the gallery for a while to make some time to do so because they definitely will be very impressed,” he said. The $8.5M project has been funded by a $3.75M contribution from the Victorian Government, $3.65M from the City of Greater Bendigo and $1.1M from the Bendigo Art Gallery Foundation and the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust.
Works on Ulumbarra Theatre progressing Work on the new $25.8M Ulumbarra Theatre (pronounced a-lum-ba-ra) currently under construction at the former Bendigo Gaol site is progressing well. The new theatre will open in early 2015 and will feature a 1,000 seat, two-tier theatre complete with a large stage, fly tower and dressing rooms along with music, dance and drama studio spaces, general learning areas and commercial learning kitchens. The project also includes an entry to the building through the former ‘Marong Cell Block’ which housed the original gallows. The $25.8M project is being funded by a $12.3M contribution from the Australian Government’s Regional Development Australia Fund; $7.5M from the Victorian Government’s Department of Education and Early Childhood Development; $3M
from the City and $3M from the Victorian Government’s Regional Development Victoria – Regional Growth Fund. The name for the new theatre was chosen following a formal process which involved calling for the public to put forward name suggestions. Over 250 entries were submitted with a large number calling for an indigenous name, specifically Ulumbarra. Ulumbarra means gather together or meeting place in the language of the local Dja Dja Wurrung people and is a fantastic name for our new state-of the-art theatre which is set to become Central Victoria’s premier meeting place for the community to gather together. When completed this project will provide the wider Bendigo region with a fantastic new asset to attract performances and events to the region.
A Library for the 21st century The new generation Bendigo Library was opened to the public in late January and is an excellent example of how the City is delivering high quality and modern infrastructure and services for our community. The facility delivers: • An exciting children’s zone providing a fun and creative space to build young, creative and engaged minds • A community lounge and café reinforcing the function of the library as an incidental meeting space and place to strengthen social connections with others • A digitally equipped performance space for children’s story time, performances and presentations
• A new second entrance by an ‘internal street’. This ‘street’ is wide, allowing for easy circulation, clear sightlines and opportunity for rotating exhibitions and gallery spaces • Improved accessibility services • A new home for the Bendigo Volunteer Resource Centre in a highly visible location • Additional technology for staff and community members of all ages • A more sustainable facility with energy and water saving systems Find out more about Library services at www.ncgrl.vic.gov.au
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City prepares to make a splash in Long Gully vortex-intl.com
The Long Gully Recreation Reserve will soon feature a family-friendly, year-round splash park and playground facilities.
The Cunneen Street site will boast a solar-heated splash park, separate traditional playground, barbeque area and landscaping. Playground and splash park specialists Vortex have been awarded the tender to construct the Long Gully Splash Park, which is expected to take four to five months to complete and will be open in time for summer.
City of Greater Bendigo Manager Active and Healthy Communities Patrick Jess said residents will soon be asked to choose from three design proposals. “This is an exciting project for the Long Gully and wider Greater Bendigo community. The splash park will be the first of its kind for the City and we are encouraging as many people as possible to have their say on the design they would like to see installed,” Mr Jess said. “The designs will be family-focused and encourage active play, so infant children through to those in their early teens will benefit. “The splash park’s central location, adjacent to the car park between Cunneen Street and the creek, means parents will also be able to supervise their children with ease and have a good line of sight to other parts of the Recreation Reserve.” The splash park will be surrounded by tables and chairs, a shade structure, synthetic grass, rubber soft fall, footpaths and bollard rail fencing.
Long Gully, Bendigo Splashpad®, AU - View 1
Hockey one, hockey two – new state of the art pitch complete
One of the concepts for the new splash park in Long Gully.
Concrete colouring s
Greater Bendigo’s reputation as the sporting capital of regional Victoria has been confirmed following the completion of a new pitch at Hockey Central Victoria’s Garden Gully complex in Ironbark.
$240,000. The association is to be commended for its 10 years of good financial management to ensure it was able to cover a majority of the costs and the City was pleased to provide the additional $80,000 needed.”
City Manager Active and Healthy Communities Patrick Jess said the ‘wet-based’, internationally-accredited pitch is the first of its type in Victoria and is the latest in cutting edge technology.
Hockey Central Victoria project co-ordinator Julian Hood said the new pitch will be an asset for Greater Bendigo and the surrounding region.
“The pitch will enable Bendigo to host national and international hockey competitions, as the pitch will be approved by the International Hockey Federation,” Mr Jess said. Internationally accredited: A new pitch at Hockey Central Victoria’ s Garden Gully complex.
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“The replacement pitch cost $320,000 of which Hockey Central Victoria raised
“The pitch will help further develop the skills of local hockey players so they will be able to better represent their club, or potentially their state or nation,” Mr Hood said. “Hockey is a popular sport with more than 700 players across central Victoria to benefit from the new, state-of the-art pitch.”
Planning for the next 20 years and beyond
A 20 year horizon By Trevor Budge - La Trobe University Associate Professor, City of Greater Bendigo Strategy Manager and highly respected town planner Photo courtesy of the Bendigo Advertiser
“If you always do what you have always done, then you will always get what you have always got.” – Henry Ford, Ford Motor Company founder. It might be an obvious statement but the need for change is inevitable. Stale ideas and poor planning can stunt the growth of a community. A thriving city like Greater Bendigo requires imaginative and innovative planning for its future. Greater Bendigo is constantly evolving and it is not always possible to take the same approach to meet residents’ needs. In order to build the most liveable regional city in Australia, the City relies on information already available and also charts developing trends. On that basis, what will Bendigo look like in 20 years’ time? A number of City of Greater Bendigo key strategies and planning documents are designed with the future in mind. But a concern is: what if some of the undesirable trends the City is seeing now actually worsen? For example, Bendigo already has more than its share of the growing national obesity epidemic. City research confirms children and adults are engaging less and less in physical activity. A large range of services provided by all levels of government centre on health and wellbeing. If strategies do not cater to improving residents’ health and wellbeing, the eventual wear and tear on services, many of which are run by local government, is inevitable. If we want to get people more active and moving, either on foot, bicycle or by public transport, there needs to be complementary strategies in place.
There are obvious gains to people using public transport: fewer people on the road means less state and local government funding that needs to be spent on roads and less pollution. If people choose to walk or cycle they will also become healthier. In this instance the challenge is to not only imagine a future Bendigo characterised by more people using active and healthier forms of transport, but to identify what needs to be done to bring that situation about. Where should higher frequency public transport routes run, is there enough room for additional housing along these routes to accommodate people wishing to lead a healthier and more active lifestyle? The City’s Integrated Transport and Land Use Strategy and revised Residential Development Strategy are examples of strategies designed to work in tandem to address residents’ needs. Once you start assessing the facts and figures, it is possible to imagine a better future and what needs to be created in it. Twenty years ago the Bendigo Market Place did not exist. The forests surrounding Bendigo were not National Parks and much of the Calder Highway was still a two-lane road. There were also far fewer and slower trains. The idea the internet would one day be in the palm of our hand, that we could Facebook our every move and sum up our thoughts in a 140-character tweet were not anticipated by many. Those developments came about because of innovation, people imagining a better future and the community recognising how improvements could be made. This is one of the roles of Council, City staff and the community going forward. We all want a better future for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren. Now is the time to plan to ensure this is achieved.
What will Bendigo look like in 20 years’ time? The City of Greater Bendigo hit the streets to ask residents what they thought our region would look like in 20 years’ time.
“It will look like a smaller version of Melbourne with all the new buildings happening. Especially with the new hospital going up there will be a lot more people here, probably twice the amount it is now. It is a good thing because the town’s getting noticed now.” Mahmoud Othman, 17
“I dare say a great amount of the traditional architecture will remain, whether or not new parks will be created, I’m not sure. I think [population] will be on the decline because of the lack of jobs and everyone seems to be heading for Melbourne as soon as they finish university and students aren’t really being tempted to come here because of all the cuts to TAFE and University and not much in the way of future promise to the city. I’d love for that to be very wrong but that’s as far as I can see it being at present.” Sebastian Ratcliffe, 24
“Well, very busy. The roads are going to be very busy I would say. I think the population will grow a fair bit too.” Lynette Rice, 88
“I suppose Bendigo’s central business district must be multi-storey because we’re continually building out and around Huntly, Epsom and that urban sprawl has got to stop sooner or later. I think we’ll maintain all our parks and gardens, that’s a must. People won’t allow them not to be maintained as they are. Bendigo will grow substantially because of its closeness to Melbourne and I expect it to be a very prosperous city in 20 years. “ Glenn Mildren, 56
“I hope there’ll be lots of public transport options and bike lanes so that it encourages people to leave their cars at home. Maybe that mindset shifting a bit from having to drive everywhere and park right out the front of where you want to go, which is very much live still today in Bendigo. I hope that it’s a vibrant place that has lots of things that support community initiatives and local farmers and great food. I’m involved with the Farmers’ Marker, so I hope that gets bigger and better. And there’s more services to allow people to access those kind of things easily, like with the ageing population.” Hayley Davis, 37
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Have your say on Greater Bendigo’s future for your chance to win How often do you walk around your local park or head to the gym each week? Do you play organised sport for a local club or do you casually play kick-tokick or have a hit of tennis with friends?
It is important for City staff to hear from as many residents as possible
The City is undertaking an Active Living Census and wants to know how healthy and active you are. The findings will help the City to better plan for, develop and enhance public open spaces and recreation facilities across the region. Manager Active and Healthy Communities Patrick Jess said this was the first time the City had carried out such a detailed survey on people’s fitness and recreation habits.
“It is important for City staff to hear from as many residents as possible. We want to know what you do to stay active, how often you participate, if you join in with friends and where you go,” Mr Jess said. The paper-based Census will be delivered to every household across Greater Bendigo and is open for three weeks from April 28 – May 18. Every resident, including children, is encouraged to
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participate for their chance to win weekly prizes including $1,000 Champions IGA vouchers, mountain bikes and extended season family pool passes. Every person that completes the Census online will be eligible for an additional prize, a discount voucher to be used at participating IGA Champions stores (conditions apply). Hard copies of the Census are also available from the
City’s offices in Lyttleton Terrace, Hopetoun Street and Heathcote, the Bendigo Library and Bendigo Community Health Services offices in central Bendigo, Kangaroo Flat, Elmore and Eaglehawk. The Census can also be completed online at www.bendigo.vic.gov.au
Greater Bendigo – A place to call home
A Birdseye view of the Bendigo CBD. (Image courtesy of www.jasontavenerphotography.com.au)
The secret is out: Greater Bendigo is a great place to live. As word continues to spread and those already living here move around our great city, the challenge will be to comfortably fit everyone in. Every year Greater Bendigo needs to build about 800 to 900 new houses to meet demand and different houses will be required. Households of only one or two people make up 55 per cent of all households in Greater Bendigo and this statistic is expected to grow. Couples with children represent only 27.5 per cent of our households. Our population is also living longer, so downsizing will be popular.
The City is reviewing its Residential Development Strategy and is seeking community feedback on a range of ideas designed to enhance Greater Bendigo’s future liveability and accessibility. “City research suggests the next 20 years’ growth can be accommodated within the existing urban growth boundary. The CBD, hospital precinct and La Trobe University have been identified in the strategy as three of the hubs that can be developed into ‘10 minute neighbourhoods’ and where infill opportunities also exist,” Strategy Manager Trevor Budge said.
won’t necessarily have to leave their suburb to access their daily needs. “There is also an emphasis on further residential development in the City’s smaller townships including Elmore and Heathcote.” Aspirational figures suggest Greater Bendigo’s population could reach 200,000 by 2041. Real Estate Agent of 20 years Matt Bowles encouraged residents not to miss this opportunity to comment on how Greater Bendigo will develop in the future.
“The strategy explores improving public transport connections and building walking and cycling paths so people
educational facilities, which keeps people here and also attracts others to our region. “We need to ensure that Greater Bendigo remains a great place to live and the planning process, such as the Residential Development Strategy, will help to ensure this.” To have your say on Greater Bendigo’s future residential development, visit www.bendigo.vic.gov.au/residentialstrategy
“Residents appreciate all the benefits of Bendigo’s community and lifestyle. We have access to good jobs and
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Our challenges capacity. Future management of waste disposal and recycling in the region needs to be planned. As the region’s population and industry grows, there will be an increased demand for waste and resource recovery management, creating a challenge for securing land for future waste management facilities for sorting and processing, recycling, composting and reprocessing. View the Waste and Resource Management Strategy at www.bendigo.vic. gov.au/wasteresourcestrategy
Environment and conservation
The City is installing energy efficient street lighting throughout the CBD.
The City of Greater Bendigo faces a number of challenges if it is to achieve its goal of being the best and most liveable City in regional Australia, including:
Bendigo is currently experiencing substantial infrastructure investment, including upgrades to health, education and arts facilities. These facilities and services are of benefit to the wider region. Therefore, accessibility to Bendigo from outlying townships and centres is essential. The city has also benefited from significant investment in the Calder Freeway and faster rail services between Melbourne and Bendigo. To maximise this opportunity, Bendigo now needs to see an upgrade to its vital transport interchanges such as Bendigo Station, which requires improved amenity to increase its ability to cater for the high levels of commuter patronage. Rail track duplication between Bendigo and Kyneton will allow additional train services at peak times and rail improvements to Bendigo’s north are also needed. Bendigo also needs to make improvements to its internal transport infrastructure, particularly its local bus service. The development of an extensive bike path network, on and off road, to provide more opportunities for cyclists to ride to and from work as well as for recreation is also considered a must.
Bendigo’s population will require the provision of around 25,000 to 40,000 new jobs. A critical success factor for Bendigo and the region will be to attract and maintain a population of working age. Key regional industries that could be built on include the finance, health, retail and education sectors, and the links between them, public administration and safety, as well as manufacturing. These sectors need to be built on to attract and develop new employment opportunities. Plans are also proposed for the future development of the Marong Business Park. These plans envisage 300 hectares of industrial and business land. The Marong Business Park is considered a priority for the region as it provides significant job opportunities and land for important economic sectors and supply chain links such as food processing and freight.
As a major and fast growing regional centre, Bendigo is not immune to the effects of an ageing population exacerbated by an influx of older residents in need of access to more intensive health services. Interestingly, Bendigo has also been witnessing a surge in the local birth rate, which is putting pressure on services for young families and children as well. These trends are only likely to gain momentum in the years ahead.
The management of waste in the Loddon Mallee South region relies predominately on the Eaglehawk Eco Centre, with towns having smaller local facilities, many of which are reaching
Workforce skill gaps have been identified in key economic growth areas including construction, education, transport and logistics and health. These gaps suggest the region should better integrate secondary school and post-secondary education with regional economic development. Ongoing training is also required to ensure workers’ skills continue to meet the changing needs of industry and are positioned to take advantage of any emerging industry opportunities.
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There is an increased need for sound management of carbon emissions, energy, waste and water, and the expectation of more extreme climatic conditions. Support for new investment in clean renewable energy; support to achieve Council’s emission targets; support for policies and initiatives that retain and re-introduce native vegetation where appropriate; and support for the management of weeds and pests along roadsides are needed to help improve Bendigo’s liveability into the future.
Greater Bendigo is made up of small towns and rural communities centred on a large regional city. Securing a sustainable future for smaller communities is a high community priority. Access to improved community infrastructure, improved transport linkages and better employment and education opportunities are essential to attracting, retaining and growing population in both smaller and larger townships. There is also a need to extending potable water and sewerage solutions to outlying localities, including Goornong and Raywood.
for the future Major projects The City of Greater Bendigo works with other levels of government to deliver major projects for our community. Projects that have benefited from this arrangement over recent years include the new generation Bendigo Library, the Ulumbarra Theatre and the Bendigo Art Gallery expansion. The City is seeking funding support for other major projects that will benefit our community, including:
Greater Bendigo Indoor Aquatic, Leisure and Wellbeing Centre A planning permit application was recently lodged for the proposed new Greater Bendigo Indoor Aquatic Leisure and Wellbeing Centre in Browning Street Kangaroo Flat. While the lodging of the planning permit application is yet another major milestone and an exciting stage for the project, Council still needs to secure significant funding support from both the State and Federal Government and other sources to make the project a reality. The plans for the proposed new twolevel complex include: • Eight-lane 50m swimming pool • Hydrotherapy warm water pool and spa • Children’s splash play and learn to swim pool
• • • •
Gymnasium Wellness Centre Change rooms Short-stay childcare facilities
Bendigo Botanic Gardens at White Hills The City of Greater Bendigo has developed and adopted a Master Plan for the rejuvenation and extension of the Bendigo Botanic Gardens, White Hills. The aim of the Master Plan is to guide the long-term restoration of the existing culturally significant Gardens and its extension to create a significant, new, engaging and contemporary facility. Features of the Master Plan include: • Restoration of the heritage gardens to their former glory • Construction of a ‘Garden for the Future,’ showcasing climate responsive collections within a contemporary landscape • Construction of a Central Visitor Hub complete with café, training and function rooms • Development of a Botanic Park including a regional scale children’s garden, play space and aquatic facility and an arboretum • Restoration of the Bendigo Creek corridor to improve amenity, habitat and water quality
Bendigo Airport Obtaining funding to bring Bendigo Airport to a standard that is comparable with other major regional centres is a key challenge for the City. The expansion of the airport has been identified as a priority in the Loddon Mallee Regional Strategic Plan (Southern Region), Bendigo Airport Strategic Plan and Bendigo Airport Master Plan. The following are key works of the Bendigo Airport Master Plan: • The construction of a new, larger runway (1600 metres long and 30 metres wide) to accommodate bigger
passenger aircraft and secure the site as a central base for key emergency aircraft The further development of a business park at the site The diversion of Heinz Rd to enable the northern section of the runway to be built The removal of vegetation and trimming to allow safe clearance for all aircraft Changes to planning overlays relating to noise and the introduction of threestorey height restrictions in some areas
Concept: Bendigo Botanic Gardens development.
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Connecting Greater Bendigo – planning for our future transport and land use needs The City is planning for our future transport and land use needs. The Connecting Greater Bendigo – Integrated Transport and Land Use Strategy (ITLUS) is being designed to resolve problems and maximise the strengths and opportunities that will arise through future growth and development in our region.
The conversation continues An ITLUS progress update was held in December. The public meeting offered an opportunity for Greater Bendigo residents to hear from members of the local community who have contributed to the Strategy. Caleb Ellis, a 15-year-old local high school student, spoke about his passion for sustainable transport and the Bendigo bus system. He has been contributing as a member of the ITLUS Reference Group. Caleb has some great ideas on how to improve the local bus system and get more people using it.
To date, the City has consulted with more than 1,000 people. Many said they would like a future Greater Bendigo to be made up of a series of linked, sustainable neighbourhoods that provide a range of living, working and transport opportunities.
In February leading local and state government public transport experts attended a forum to discuss ways the system could be improved to better meet daily needs.
Stage Three of the Strategy will consider what has to be done to achieve this vision and will include the development, testing, analysis and evaluation of diverse, innovative and financially realistic transport and land use scenarios.
“The ITLUS will help boost Greater Bendigo’s liveability, productivity and economic prosperity,” Mr Budge said.
Strategy Manager Trevor Budge said community consultation confirmed a ‘business as usual’ approach was no longer wanted.
“Stage 3 of the Strategy will explore possible options including increasing public transport frequencies along main transport corridors, minimising
the impact of freight movements on the CBD whilst maintain productivity, and improving walking and cycling routes to local schools.
Follow the link below to read more about the public forums and the strategic issues ITLUS will need to tackle www.bendigo.vic.gov.au/transportplanning
“This work will then form the basis of key recommendations in the final stage of the project.”
Redefining the Rosalind Park precinct
We all agree Rosalind Park is one of Greater Bendigo’s best assets. The beautiful green and open space in the middle of the city is a jewel in our crown, but there is more to the park than you might realise. The recreation facilities, schools, Dai Gum San, the newly renovated Bendigo Art Gallery and Ullumbarra Theatre all belong to Rosalind Park too. Add to this the close proximity of the Hospital redevelopment, and the park precinct is set to become even better. The City has prepared a Draft Rosalind Park Recreation Reserve Precinct
Master Plan and recently asked residents to think about different approaches for different areas of the precinct for the future.
aspects of both scenarios but in some instances there was no clear preference for one idea over another,” Mr Budge said.
Concept A focused on passive parkland and limited vehicle access, while Concept B proposed a mix of active and passive parkland and more flexible car parking arrangements.
“All surveyed agreed improvements needed to be made to the wetland area between the Bendigo Aquatic Centre and Bendigo Bowls Club. The majority of respondents supported turning the wetlands into a waterside picnic area, a bit like Lake Weeroona.
City Strategy Manager Trevor Budge said more than 500 responses were received. “Almost 65 per cent of respondents preferred Approach B. Many liked
“Half of those surveyed were also keen to see Park Road closed to traffic south of Gaol Road.
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“The final Master Plan will set the direction to beautify and connect the upper and lower spaces and provide a series of destinations throughout the park that people will be able to easily access.” For more information on the Master Plan, please visit www.bendigo.vic.gov.au/rosalindpark
A letter from the future June 26, 2034 Dear Michael and Sarah, Life is good in Greater Bendigo. In January we shifted from Lockwood South into the centre of the city after buying a third-storey apartment in Williamson Street. We loved our rural lifestyle, but with our oldest Dave moving out and the twins at university we thought the time was right to downsize. We never thought we’d enjoy inner city living; how wrong we were! We’re close to shops and restaurants, including the magnificently renovated Bendigo Mining Exchange, and both of us have a brisk five minute walk to work. Beautiful Rosalind Park continues to be a favourite spot for lunchtime strolls and the newly developed wetlands area is proving a big hit with locals and visitors alike. At weekends, we often go for a bike ride on Bendigo’s web of interconnected bike paths and every couple of months we join the kids to tackle the O’Keefe Rail Trail to Heathcote, where we enjoy some great food and wine. We’re looking forward to taking the grandkids (not on the horizon yet) to the skate park, BMX track and other recreational facilities that have been built in Heathcote over the years. The twins, Ryan and Charlotte, are both at La Trobe University and are living in a share house in Flora Hill. Charlotte’s in her first year of nursing and is looking forward to working at Bendigo Hospital. As you may recall, the hospital underwent a major redevelopment some years back and is widely regarded as the best regional hospital in Australia (Boast! Boast!). Ryan is keen to work at the Bendigo Bank, but there are many other options locally with others from the finance sector making Bendigo their home. Improved Internet access, including higher speeds, has seen businesses that would normally base themselves in Melbourne moving here. Dave continues to be the practical one and is doing an apprenticeship as an electro-technology electrician. There’s plenty of work available around town these days with business parks at the Bendigo Airport and Marong opening up new opportunities for young people. The twins graduated from the ever-growing Girton Grammar late last year and the gala ceremony was held at the beautiful Ulumbarra Theatre. This is an amazing facility built on the old Bendigo prison site and we often go there to enjoy a live show. It’s great to have a facility like this in our city and it’s a real drawcard for people from across the region. Talking of drawcards, the Bendigo Art Gallery has staged yet another blockbuster with an exhibition of fabulous Cate Blanchett costumes and film memorabilia. Thousands flock here for these events with every tourist injecting cash into our local economy. You’d also be thrilled to see how good the Bendigo Botanic Gardens at White Hills are looking. The staged development has been a huge success with people from all over going there on weekends to enjoy the beautiful gardens and fantastic water play park. Both Ryan and David are keen sportsmen and are taking advantage of the many sporting facilities at the Canterbury Park Sports Precinct, including tennis courts, cricket nets, a multi-use pavilion and even a synthetic bowling green. Other sporting grounds have also been upgraded and redeveloped to respond to the needs of residents as identified in surveys undertaken by our local council. Friends Allan and Rosemary dropped in on us again last week. They flew in on a 70-seater from Adelaide, landed at Bendigo Airport and jumped onto a bus into the CBD. It’s amazing how easy it is to get around town on public transport nowadays. The airport run takes just 15 minutes. Contrast this with Melbourne, which still doesn’t have an Airport Rail Link and the freeways are congested with cars and trucks. Melbourne would have benefited from an Integrated Transport and Land Use Strategy to guide its transport needs. The one developed here in Bendigo back in 2014/2015 has since become the template for other regional centres. Anyway, it’s time to head off to the indoor aquatic centre at Kangaroo Flat for a dip in the heated pool and a work out in the gym. This is a fantastic facility, especially now it’s winter. No wonder Greater Bendigo is considered to be the best and most liveable regional centre in Australia! Yours sincerely, Melissa
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Greater Bendigo Plant Nursery accredited The City of Greater Bendigo’s Plant Nursery in Golden Square has achieved a major milestone to become only the second Victorian Local Government operated plant nursery to receive accreditation under the Nursery Industry Accreditation Australia Scheme (NIASA). NIASA is a national scheme for Production Nurseries, Growers, and Suppliers which operate in accordance with a set of national ‘best practice’ guidelines.
puts our nursery operations at the same standard as places like the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne. “Our Nursery plays an important role in the City’s Parks and Natural Reserves operations and receiving accreditation shows that we are operating to the highest standards possible,” he said. “We are always looking to improve the way we do things and this recognition is
testament to the dedication of our staff and the commitment of the City to operate to the highest standards to meet the needs of the community and enhance the lives of our residents. “The City of Greater Bendigo is striving to become a local government leader in the way we go about our business and this is definitely a step in the right direction for our Nursery operations,” said Mr Fuzzard.
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City of Greater Bendigo Director of Presentation and Assets Darren Fuzzard said the accreditation provides opportunities for the plant nursery to diversify its services and produce, supply and sell trees, plants and shrubs to other government organisations. “We are only the second local government owned nursery to achieve full accreditation which
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