Six things to look for at the October meeting of Bendigo's council

The agenda for Wednesday’s Bendigo council meeting was released today and we’ve listed some of the big-ticket items to look for when councillors convene next week. 

Scroll to the bottom of the page to read the entire agenda.

1. Pool name games

Bendigo councillors will be asked to approve Gurri Wanyarra as the name for a new Kangaroo Flat swimming complex and consider re-branding Bendigo’s existing aquatic centre after OIympic gold medallist Faith Leech.

See full story here.

2. Top priorities revealed

A list of 18 priority projects for the Plan Greater Bendigo strategy have been named in a draft report to be tabled at council on Wednesday.

They include: the Marong Business Park, Bendigo Airport, more short-term student and hostel accommodation in the CBD and and upgrade to tracks between Bendigo and Kyneton.

Works at the Bendigo Law Courts, creation of a Bendigo “Gov Hub” (a ‘one-stop shop’ for government agencies) and a new waste management arrangement were also on the list.

See how they compared to our readers picks, collected in a March survey.

3. Parking petition denied

Cheryl Hayes wanted more parking around Napier Street. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Cheryl Hayes wanted more parking around Napier Street. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Council will also respond to two petitions on Wednesday. Despite attracting 1300 signatures, planners have recommended council not heed a petition’s request to add more off-street parking in the vicinity of the Napier Street upgrade. 

The petition asked that council consider acquiring a vacant block of land on Plumridge street, a spot some motorists already use to park their cars.

But if planners’ recommendations are followed, the council will not pursue the property. A parking survey conducted by the city found 139 bays around Napier Street shops, with average occupations rates of 37 per cent. 

4. Roadworks to wait

Epsom petitioners hoping council would extend Goynes Road works to the Howard Street will have to wait until the Napier Street upgrade is finished before their suggestion can be figured into the budget.  

Planners have advised council to monitor the condition of the thoroughfare while the White Hills construction is carried out.  

The project would cost about $1 million and the road was still in a usable condition, the report’s author said.

5. Talking toilets

Picture: DARREN HOWE

Picture: DARREN HOWE

A draft public toilet strategy will also be tabled at the meeting, with facilities in Hargreaves Mall among those earmarked for upgrade. 

While considered in good condition, concerns about the mall toilet’s safety and security meant people reported it as a gap in the city’s “toilet network”. 

The possibility of a new toilet in Bath Lane could follow upgrades at the mall, the draft strategy indicated. 

The need for better facilities outside the Bendigo CBD was also acknowledged, with works to toilets in Heathcote, Eaglehawk and Elmore considered high priorities.

But the strategy also proposes a “community toilet scheme” that would see the council ask local businesses to let members of the public use their privately owned toilets.   

6. Hurdles ahead

The council’s annual report will also be tabled on Wednesday, with a list of challenges facing the city among its contents. 

It recognises poor access to fast internet as a barrier for businesses and residents, as well as the ongoing effects of the state government’s rate-capping legislation.  

Not only was there “significant inequality in health status and access to life” between geographic areas, but declining state funding in areas such as maternal and child health was also a challenge facing the council.