Bendigo budget: Ambitious building program

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THE City of Greater Bendigo will embark on an ambitious building program in the 2014/15 year, allocating $62.2 million for capital and major works.

Annoucing its annual budget today, council's proposed budget includes a $62.2 million building program, with capital works worth $42.69 million and major works worth $19.53 million.

Mayor Cr Barry Lyons said spending proposals included $16.03 million for local roads, bridges, footpaths, kerb and channel, bike/walking paths and traffic control and $5.58M for drainage.

The city says there is also a big investment in sport and recreation facilities to help improve the health and wellbeing of residents.

“All of these planned works, plus the many other projects in the proposed Budget, will help to make Greater Bendigo a better place to live,” Cr Lyons said.

“This ambitious building program caters for future growth to help ensure that Greater Bendigo can be the most liveable regional city in Australia.”

The building program is funded through revenue raised by the City, together with grants provided by State and Federal Governments and contributions from other sources. While $62.2M is proposed to be spent, the net cost to ratepayers is $47.9M in the 2014/2015 financial year.

“Council actively seeks state and federal government support for projects that continue to maintain and enhance our quality of life,” Cr Lyons said.

Capital works highlights include: 

• Land Improvements ($7.21M) – The more significant projects include the development of the Canterbury Park Central Activity Area $3.5M; completion of the O’Keefe Rail Trail extension $960,000; and continuation of the Bendigo Botanic Gardens Master Plan implementation $250,000. 

• Building construction projects ($6.90M) – The more significant projects include construction of Longlea Recreation Reserve Upgrade $566,000; Bendigo RSL Soldiers Memorial design works $230,000; staged construction of the Strathfieldsaye Pre-School and Maternal and Child Health Centre $460,000; Detailed design for Barrack Reserve pavilion at Heathcote  $100,000; further planning for the Greater Bendigo Indoor Aquatic Leisure and Wellbeing Centre $165,000 and Dower Park Social Rooms $365,000

• Roads and Bridges ($16.03M) – This includes local roads, bridges, footpaths, kerb and channel, bike/walking paths and traffic control. The more significant projects include renewal of various road construction, traffic management and streetscape works $10.9M; Mitchell Street upgrade $1.8M; $775,000 for bridge works; Lockington Road, near Elmore $420,000; and $806,000 for stage 3 of the East Bendigo Road Link.

• Major Works ($19.53M) – Ulumbarra Theatre completion $10.4M, includes $8.54M contributions from other levels of government. Lighting the Regions project $6.25M, including $5.54M from Federal Government as well as other participating councils.

• Drainage ($5.58M) – The need for a continued increased commitment to drainage works has been identified from Council's Five Year Capital Works Plan, with major works to be undertaken at Abel Street $570,000, and various drainage works around the municipality.

• Public Furniture and Fittings ($1.90M) – $1.90M will be expended on additional public furniture and fittings throughout the municipality, including seating, lighting, shade structures, bus shelters and playground equipment. Major projects include the construction of play spaces at Strathfieldsaye Recreation Reserve $395,000 and Maiden Gully $191,000; and bus shelters at various locations $125,000.

• Plant, Equipment and Other ($5.06M) –The more significant projects include ongoing cyclical replacement of the plant and vehicle fleet of $3.75M and upgrade and replacement of information technology $650,000 to improve efficiencies.


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