City of Greater Bendigo faces full agenda

BENDIGO councillors will vote on a mid-year budget, a controversial 23-lot subdivision, the future of the Golden Square Pool and plans for a three-storey development at tomorrow night’s council meeting. 

 Councillor Elise Chapman will also put forward a motion calling for the council to establish or advocate for two-way traffic on the service road on the east side of the Calder Alternate Highway in Marong. 

Council staff have recommended a planning application for a 23-lot site in Robert Street, Kangaroo Flat, go ahead, with 21 amendments. 

Thirty-six residents objected to a permit being, granted noting the loss of native vegetation and traffic and drainage problems. 

One objector said the development would lead to the “devastation of a beautiful area of established bushland (in) a gross travesty of environmental justice”.

Councillors will also vote on plans for a three-storey office and retail development in Williamson Street, which staff recommend be approved, with 20 amendments. 

The site is undeveloped and no objections to the permit have been lodged. The development would include an 1800-square-metre car park, four office sites, two retail buildings and a cafe. 

Councillors will also consider a report showing “unforeseen issues” had affected the council’s budget, with the organisation expecting a $1,197,026 cash deficit for the financial year. 

The report said a $914,806 reduction in Grants Commission funding from the federal government and $10.3 million superannuation scheme shortfall contributed to the shortfall. 

But council director of organisation support Marg Allan said the council’s budget was still in a “very strong position”. 

“It is prudent to review the council’s financial position on an ongoing basis, particularly at mid-year, to make any necessary adjustments to ensure financial sustainability,” Ms Allan said.

The report recommends proceeding with three new projects valued about $420,000 – a $250,000 independent review of the council, $141,000 in fire service protection work at the Bendigo Exhibition Centre, and access upgrades at the Lone Pine Memorial in Heathcote. 

Council staff also recommended that the Golden Square Pool be demolished.

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