Council outlines wish list

CLOSER? Plans for the aquatic centre could be a step closer if council receives State Budget funding.

CLOSER? Plans for the aquatic centre could be a step closer if council receives State Budget funding.

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THE Greater Bendigo Indoor Aquatic Leisure and Wellbeing Centre has topped the council's wish list for funding in tomorrow's State Budget.

Mayor Barry Lyons said the council continued to advocate strongly for funding for the facility.

The council is awaiting $10 million from both the state and federal governments before the $30-million project, to be built at Kangaroo Flat, can go ahead.

The schematic plans detail an eight-lane, 50-metre swimming pool, hydrotherapy warm water pool and spa and children's splash play centre.

The Bendigo Advertiser believes the state government will confirm its funding for the centre today.

"This is the first time we've had the plans and it's gone before budget consideration, so we are very hopeful," Cr Lyons said. 

"If we do receive funding, it will be a great push forward for federal funding, which is also needed."

Other council priorities include funding for local roads, including upgrades to growth corridors at Strathfieldsaye, Maiden Gully and Epsom/Huntly and support for the continued development of the Bendigo Botanic Gardens. 

I think the government of today is looking to push more growth in regional areas. - Mayor Barry Lyons

Cr Lyons said the council was hopeful the government would further commit to boost police resources in the region and include ongoing support for greater Bendigo’s major secondary and primary schools. 

Support for the expansion of major sporting facilities and completion of the Regional Rail Project and increased rail services to and from Melbourne are also listed as high priorities. 

“Our draft Council Plan sets an aspirational goal for us to be the most liveable regional city in Australia and funding support for these types of projects will play a big part in helping us to achieve this outcome,” Cr Lyons said. 

He said the council was not expecting any additional money for the Bendigo Airport runway and proposed business park, following an earlier state government commitment. 

However the council is still awaiting federal government funding to ensure the redevelopment can go ahead. 

Cr Lyons said Bendigo had faired reasonably well in past budgets. 

"I don't think we have been overlooked," he said. 

"Because of our success, a lot of people want to move here. This means we have more growth and need more funding. 

"And I think the government of today is looking to push more growth in regional areas and give the appropriate funding needed for this."

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