Aboriginal centre before council

PLANS for a new Aboriginal centre in Bendigo will go before City of Greater Bendigo this week. 

The proposal for a 326-square metre cultural centre at Prouses Rd features a place of assembly, cafeteria and health services. 

Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-operative (BDAC) hopes to consolidate existing services into one location, while also expanding facilities. 

"(This will enable) greater interaction with people outside the Aboriginal community through an onsite childcare centre and community and cultural centre," it says. 

"These facilities will be made available to the wider Bendigo community, not just the aboriginal community."

The proposal has received two objections, with key considerations including bushfire risk, amenity impacts and traffic concerns. 

The Department of Sustainability and Environment and CFA both objected to the plan based on bushfire management issues, however this has since been resolved. 

A council report supports the proposal, saying "it represents an acceptable urban design" and is in an appropriate location. 

The BDAC is located at a number of different sites throughout Bendigo and serves a significant area from Woodend, Donald, Puckapunyal, Rushworth and Kerang. 

The co-operative has a strong desire to locate the centre near bush. 

The City notes that without appropriate management, the site could potentially have an impact on the amenity of the area. 

However it says the site is adjacent to a busy road. 

"It is questionable as to whether the operational noise generated by the proposed use would be audible over the vehicle noises," the report states. 

Conditions have also been put in place to reduce noise emissions, including EPA requirements, appropriate landscaping to be put in place to minimise the visual bulk of the building, and baffles on all external lighting to avoid any direct light emissions. 

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