Council proud of its first 12 months, but plenty of work to be done in upcoming state election year

Bendigo council’s new leadership team was officially sworn in on Tuesday evening, with mayor Margaret O’Rourke suggesting the city had become “toast of regional Victoria”.

“We (Bendigo) are the toast of regional Victoria, we have a great reputation but we cannot rest on our laurels,” Cr O’Rourke said.

Related: Bendigo council to have two female leaders for the first time

In gaining re-election, Cr O’Rourke became the first councillor to serve consecutive mayoral terms in Bendigo council history.

“That privilege is not lost on me,” she said.

New law courts, the construction of a government hub and the redevelopment of the Central Deborah Gold Mine were a few projects council hoped to secure funding for in the coming year, Cr O’Rourke said.

Cr O’Rourke pointed to recent achievements, such as securing Bendigo’s first White Night for September next year, as an example of what council has achieved for its community.

The council was proud of its first 12 months in office but committed to achieving greater things for its community in 2018 – a pivotal state election year. 

Related: A rural women’s pioneer says an all-female leadership puts Bendigo in a good position

Cr Alden said the great challenge ahead for council was to translate policies into actions.

“We need to embrace change as we grow - moving to a truly inclusive community,” she said.

Being honest, transparent and authentic would form the cornerstone of her role as deputy mayor, Cr Alden said.