Councillor Cox to stand again

EAGLEHAWK councillor Peter Cox, in his re-election bid, has called for greater financial accountability from the City of Greater Bendigo council.

Cr Cox yesterday announced his intention to run as a candidate for the Whipstick ward and said his first order of business would be pushing for an independent review to look at cost-cutting measures.

He said the number of council employees could be scaled back. 

“We’ve got to review the number of staff employed by council. I certainly think that savings can be made there,” he said. 

Cr Cox said the $250,000 independent review, which the council rejected earlier this year, would determine the best way for the council to trim expenses and keep rates low. He said his plan was to keep rate rises to a cap of 4 per cent.

“I urge everybody to ask candidates where they stand on this issue,” he said. 

“When I stood last time candidates were saying they’ll keep rates low, it means nothing. I’ve set a cap of 4 per cent and I would stick to that.”

He said his vision for the next four years would focus on how Bendigo could continue to grow in a sustainable manner.

“Bendigo’s going to change dramatically... the new residential and transport strategies are important issues to be tackled over the next 12 months,” he said.

“If we’re going to have additional tens of thousands of people living here, we as a community have to look at having services to cope with the rise in population.”

Other projects Cr Cox said he wanted to see followed through were the California Gully drainage project and the Canterbury Oval, Lake Neangar and California 

Gully Recreation Reserve upgrades. 

The new Whipstick Ward will include Drummartin, Elmore, Kamarooka, Avonmore, Goornong, Neilborough, Bagshot, Huntly, Fosterville, Wellsford, Epsom, Ascot, Eaglehawk, Bendigo, East Bendigo and North Bendigo.

Retired farmer James Williams is also running for the Whipstick ward.

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