Plan to see city through to 2050

RELATED:Bendigo’s visionary plan

DON'T FORCE IT: Bendigo mayor Margaret O'Rourke said council couldn't force people to give feedback on city plans.

DON'T FORCE IT: Bendigo mayor Margaret O'Rourke said council couldn't force people to give feedback on city plans.

JUST under 200 locals have responded to a major plan detailing the city’s 30-year infrastructure priorities, but mayor Margaret O’Rourke believes Bendigo “does quite well” in getting feedback from the community. 

Plan Greater Bendigo, a state-government initiated project believed to be the first of its kind in Victoria, details 70 infrastructure projects designed to cater for a population of 200,000 by 2050. 

Ratepayers have been asked to help whittle 70 potential projects down to 15, with the plan slated to be completed by January 2018. 

“You can’t force people (to give you feedback),” said councillor O’Rourke. 

“I’d love lots more interaction, it’s just finding ways to do that,” said Cr O’Rourke, who added the city was exploring other consultation options, including live streaming of meetings and events. 

Plan Greater Bendigo is one of a number of plans the City of Greater Bendigo has sought ratepayers’ opinions on over the past few months. 

But Cr O’Rourke said she didn’t believe there were too many plans for the public to digest. 

“In some ways it’s not too many (plans) because not everyone is interested in every single piece,” Cr O’Rourke said. 

“We want people to assist us, there are some big ticket (infrastructure) items in there and it’s really around the future growth of Bendigo.”

For council’s four-year draft community plan, 566 people completed a survey.

The first round of feedback for the draft Plan Greater Bendigo closes on April 28, with a further consultation period earmarked for September-October. 

The state government does not currently ask councils to hit specific feedback targets, however a new local government act, expected to be introduced in 2018, will require councils to demonstrate how community input has shaped their four-year council plan. 

Councils are required to open their budget to public submissions. 

To complete the survey online, visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/plangreaterbendigo.