The future of Bendigo’s iconic Nanga Gnulle home and the name of the Kangaroo Flat aquatic centre will be on the agenda at this month’s council meeting.
City of Greater Bendigo councillors will meet tonight to decide whether or not to support an amendment to give heritage protection to the home, and to endorse a new name for the pool.
The agenda will also cover a new urban tree management policy addressing recommendations from a Coronial inquest; a campaign to turn the Wellsford State Forest into a National Park, and council’s commercial fitness operator trial.
Read on for a brief overview of each of these items, or view the full agenda at the bottom of the article.
1. Heritage overlay for Nanga Gnulle
Councillors are being asked to decide whether to support or refuse an amendment to apply a heritage overlay on the home at Strathdale’s Nanga Gnulle.
The iconic Nanga Gnulle estate was formerly used as a wedding venue until it was sold in 2014. The current owners plan to subdivide the 1.9 hectare property, removing the existing gardens.
The overlay would provide protection to the main building on the site and a five-metre curtilage around it. The gardens won’t have any such protection, after a council review found that while extensive, they did not contain any specific or rare species that would be of heritage significance.
Council staff have recommended councillors support the amendment proposal and make a request to the minister for planning to prepare and exhibit the amendment.
2. Name suggested for new aquatic centre
The new aquatic centre at Kangaroo Flat could soon be known by “Gurri Wanyarra Wellbeing Centre”.
Councillors are to decide on Wednesday night whether to provisionally name the new centre this after 25 entries in its naming competition in June.
The “learn to swim pool” at the new centre has also been given a provisional name – the “Faith Leech Learn to Swim Pool”.
3. Urban tree management policy
Councillors will decide whether or not to endorse a draft urban tree management policy, which incorporates recommendations from a Coronial inquest into the death of a four-year-old in 2013.
Patiya May Schreiber was killed in Rosalind Park in December 2013 when a branch fell from a tree. The draft policy also takes into account a recent internal audit undertaken by the council.
Currently, there is no formal guidelines or policies in place to govern the day-to-decision making in regards to tree management and the lack of such policy was highlighted in both the Coronial inquest recommendations and the audit.
The policy, in conjunction with a yet to be developed urban tree strategy, aims to guide and support the strategic vision for greater Bendigo’s urban forest.
4. Wellsford State Forest status
Councillors are being asked to decide whether to endorse a submission as part of an ongoing investigation into changing the Wellsford State Forest into a National Park.
The council in the past has supported the campaign to change the status of the forest and is being recommended to do so again.
The investigation by the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council is evaluating public land in the vicinity of the Wombat, Wellsford, Mount Cole and Pyrenees Range forests.
If successful, the Wellsford State Forestwould be protected under the National Parks Act.
5. Commercial fitness operator trial
Findings from a six-month trial into fitness operators in the City of Greater Bendigo will be discussed at Wednesday’s meeting.
The trial included 13 registered fitness operators and three casual fitness operators in 15 different parks, gardens and sporting reserves across the city.
A number of recommendations have also been made following the trial, including:
- enforcement activities for unapproved commercial operators;
- introduction of a fee to assist in offsetting enforcement costs;
- providing annual permits as opposed to bi-annual permits;
- and altering some of the permitted training areas at Lake Weeroona and Rosalind Park.