PROVIDING more funding for sport and recreation, the arts and infrastructure in regional cities is top of the state budget wish list for the City of Greater Bendigo.
Treasurer Tim Pallas will hand down the budget next Wednesday – the first since rate capping was introduced for Victorian councils.
Mayor Rod Fyffe said finding ways to reverse cost shifting measures would be crucial for councils, particularly given the new restrictions placed on lifting rates.
“We want to see a move towards more equitable models for a range of activities,” he said.
Kalianna Special School will also receive $4.3 million in the budget for stage 1 of upgrading the school’s buildings.
An early boost to the Bendigo arts scene has already been delivered, after Bendigo was promised $7 million for a “cultural hub”.
Cr Fyffe said the funding would help the city to “build on its strengths”.
“That’s the sort of funding that’s really helpful for what we’re trying to do in Bendigo,” he said.
“Another thing we’ll be looking for is making it easier for councils and community groups to apply for these funding streams.
“Currently dollar-for-dollar, or two dollars in the dollar funding arrangements can be restrictive.
“Overall, an increase in allocations for sports and recreation, arts and infrastructure in regional cities is what we will be looking for.”
Measures to support victims of family violence are also expected to feature heavily in the budget, after the state government committed $572 million to cover 65 recommendations from the royal commission.
Bendigo legal aid lawyers have also called for more funding to address a backlog in regional courts.
Federal Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters said Bendigo roads should also be a priority in the state budget.
“Significant funding towards Bendigo roads, schools, health and arts is essential,” she said.