Cox slams council for car park plan

Councillor Peter Cox says the City of Greater Bendigo has gone against proper democratic process after it went ahead with car parking works at Ulumbarra Theatre. 

However council directors Stan Liacos and Prue Mansfield said the car parking plans followed more than two years of detailed project planning and agreed permit conditions. 

They said contractual and funding agreements had been made with the state and federal governments and Bendigo Senior Secondary College in regards to the car park works. 

Cr Cox moved a motion at the ordinary council meeting last night to halt works so alternative measures could be investigated. 

He said the works to build 69 additional car spaces, which began last week, are in direct conflict with the Rosalind Park Masterplan draft, which is yet to be released to the public. 

He also called for the draft plan to be released to the community and a public forum be held. 

However, the majority of councillors voted against the motion and it was lost. 

Speaking to the Bendigo Advertiser, Cr Cox said council had not followed proper process when going ahead with theatre car park works. 

"Two years ago I got a motion through to make the Rosalind Park Masterplan our highest priority," he said. 

"This way, the plan could influence our decisions on car parking in the area.

"However to my surprise work started on building extra car parks without any further consultation."

Cr Cox said 700 car parks in the surrounding area could be utilised by theatre guests. 

"It's very frustrating when the thrust of the plan is to reduce car parking in the area but then we go ahead and increase it," he said.

"This is unncessary money being spent and perhaps it could have brought the rate rise down to four per cent."

Mr Liacos and Ms Mansfield said the car park was expressly requested by council and if it did not go ahead, the commercial appeal of the area would be potentially compromised. 

"The team has worked diligently and methodically to implement the vision for this major project in accordance with a plethora of necessary statutory approvals," they said. 

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