Bendigo budget: New pre-school, bins, lighting

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STRATHFIELDSAYE PRE-SCHOOL AND MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH CENTRE

The proposed Budget for 2014/2015 will invest $460,000 in a new Pre-school and Maternal and Child Health Centre in Strathfieldsaye.

The funds will be put towards detailed design works and the commencement of construction. 

Mayor Cr Barry Lyons said Strathfieldsaye was a key growth area for the municipality and forecast figures suggest the population will increase by 126 per cent by 2031. 

“Couples with children and single parent families make up more than half of the households in Strathfieldsaye, which is expected to continue over the coming decades,” Cr Lyons said. 

“The largest group of people moving to the area are those people aged 30-34 years, which is also the age group likely to have young children that will rely on a service like this.

“This project will more than triple the capacity of the current Strathfieldsaye preschool to accommodate the predicted population growth. 

“It will also form part of a central hub that will provide parents and carers with access to other professional early years services such as allied health, early intervention and family health.”

The Loddon Mallee Preschool Association will manage the delivery of the centre’s preschool services.

NEW 360 LITRE RECYCLING BINS

The proposed Budget for 2014/2015 includes $47,500 to begin rolling out new 360 litre recycling bins.

The bins are much larger than the existing ones and give Greater Bendigo the option of being able to recycle more of their domestic waste.

People wanting a larger bin will pay a one-off $46 charge to help cover the purchase cost of $110. 

The collection fee is the same as for the 240 litre bin.

“The introduction of optional 360 litre recycle bins is one of the actions identified in the City of Greater Bendigo’s Waste and Resource Management Strategy which was recently adopted by Council,” Mayor Cr Barry Lyons said.

“Currently around 12 per cent by weight of the waste in the kerbside rubbish bin is recyclable and could have gone into the recycling system.

“The option of the 360 litre bin is to help households that generate significant quantities of recyclables and currently run out of space in their existing 240 litre bin.”

The $47,500 in the 2014/15 budget is to commence the implementation with a nominal target of 500 of the 360 litre recycle bins in use by the end of 2014/15 and 7000 by 2019.

Lighting the Region program gets funding

The City of Greater Bendigo will contribute $715,000 in 2014/2015 to Lighting the Regions, a partnership project with the Federal Government and 15 other local councils.

The project aims to upgrade 23,000 streetlights in north, west and central Victoria with energy efficient technology.

“Lighting the Regions is about local governments combining resources to reduce their energy costs,” Mayor Cr Barry Lyons said.

“The project is running over three years and will see streetlight globes and fittings upgraded to new technology that requires up to 77 per cent less electricity to run.

“The whole project is expected to provide savings of over $57 million in electricity and maintenance costs over the next 20 years.

“Street lighting currently costs the region $2.2 million each year in electricity and maintenance. Given increases in energy and maintenance costs, this will increase to $6 million a year by 2032, a total cost of $73.23 million over that period.

“The City of Greater Bendigo has approximately 7400 streetlights suitable for upgrade which currently incur significant, ongoing electricity and maintenance costs every year.

“Potential savings from a project such as this can expect to save City in the order of $19.4 million over 20 years and the project will pay for itself in four to five years. 

“These are savings that will directly benefit ratepayers and the broader community and can be used for other local purposes.”

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