The City of Greater Bendigo will table its proposed budget for the 2019-20 financial year at its April meeting.
Discussions about the city's finances will then broaden to the Loddon Campaspe region's prospects for economic growth, with a draft strategy featuring in the agenda.
Costs are at the heart of the four motions the city has recommended be put to the Municipal Association of Victoria state council for consideration.
Council will also be considering opportunities for a new outdoor performing arts space in Bendigo.
Other items on the agenda include a draft of the city's plans to encourage walking and cycling in the municipality.
The 128-page agenda does not provide detail about the proposed budget, other than to state it will be tabled during Wednesday night's meeting at the Bendigo Town Hall.
But here is an insight into some of the other key talking points:
CITY staffers have identified four issues they would like the peak body for local government to raise with the state government.
It will be up to councillors to decide on Wednesday night whether those issues are submitted to the Municipal Association of Victoria for consideration at its state council meeting in May.
City staffers have suggested funding for a program supporting councils to fulfil their emergency management responsibilities be extended beyond June 2020.
They have suggested the Municipal Emergency Resourcing Program run for a further five years, and that the level of funding be increased to reflect changes in costs since 2016.
The state's 64 councils share in a funding pool of about $4.5 million the program each year.
Annual indexation has been frozen for the past three years.
City staffers have recommended these issues be addressed by the state government 'as a matter of urgency'.
They have also suggested the government enable councils to keep the money it collects each year in EPA landfill levies, to use on programs designed to help address the waste management crisis.
The City of Greater Bendigo has paid $12.8 million in landfill levies in the past five years.
Councils throughout the Loddon Campaspe region pay about $6.4 million each year.
But it is understood little of those funds are returned to councils to help reduce waste going to landfill.
RELATED: Central Victorian waste charges
City staffers would like to see the Victorian Government follow other mainland Australian states and introduce a container deposit scheme.
The intent is to address the state's waste recycling crisis.
They have also suggested urgent funding be sought from the state government to cover local governments' costs associated with assuming management of local pound and animal shelter services, 'as a result of the RSPCA's decision to move away from management of these services'.
It is understood the cost of providing these services in-house has been considerable for the City of Greater Bendigo.
A DRAFT 10-year strategy would seek to make the Greater Bendigo, Campaspe, Central Goldfields, Loddon, Macedon and Mount Alexander local government areas the most progressive in Australia.
The draft Loddon Campaspe Regional Economic Growth Strategy focuses on five key investment areas:
Priorities for Bendigo include maintaining a two per cent population growth - slightly higher than the existing growth rate of 1.86 per cent per annum.
The strategy seeks to make Bendigo home to a higher proportion of 'better paid professionals' and to retain and attract a skilled workforce.
Goals for the city's future include removing barriers to investment in, and renewal of, the CBD.
It sees to entice a 'key central agency' to establish its headquarters Bendigo.
Draft Loddon Campaspe Regional Economic Growth Strategy (story continues after document)
From a regional employment perspective, tertiary education has been identified as an area for expanded investment.
Ensuring ongoing investment and maintenance along the Bendigo train line, towards Melbourne, is another goal. Opportunities to renew train stations including Harcourt, Clarkefield, Kyneton, Goornong and Huntly are identified, as is a desire for increasing train speeds.
The draft regional strategy highlights a need for investment in regional digital connectivity and in research and development.
'A more productive future for the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District' is one of the key points in the regional food industry area of focus.
The draft plan seeks to secure the necessary funding for the Mitiamo Pipeline.
Completing construction of the Loddon Campaspe Iconic Trails is expected to be important to the region's tourist appeal, as is developing the region's reputation as a food and artisan destination.
The draft strategy suggests a plan be prepared to give the region a greater presence on the international stage. Exports, visitation and skilled migration are all among the areas of focus.
A study of the region's future skills is recommended, as is 'building a 21st century health sector'.
A FLEXIBLE, outdoor performing arts space at the Poppet Head site could be in the City of Greater Bendigo's future.
City staffers have suggested demand for a new major outdoor performing arts space in the local government area be monitored in the next five - 10 years.
It follows a feasibility study, the results of which are to be discussed during Wednesday's meeting.
"Community event organisers have long argued that Greater Bendigo could benefit from the development of a new outdoor performing arts space to complement existing facilities," the report to councillors in the meeting agenda states.
City of Greater Bendigo April meeting agenda, 2019 (story continues after document)
The Rotary Club of Bendigo, which presents the annual Rotary Carols by Candlelight, instigated and helped fund the study.
The club would like to see a permanent outdoor stage reinstated in lower Rosalind Park and/or in close proximity to the city's arts and cultural precinct.
The feasibility study did not find an urgent need for a major new performing arts facility. But it did present three options for the future.
It was suggested the city consider developing a major new facility at the Poppet Head site, at an estimated cost of almost $8 million.
A new permanent or temporary outdoor performing arts space could also be established on the site currently used for car parking and a school bus interchange, south of the Tom Flood Sports Centre.
The project's cost has been estimated at $7.385 million.
The report also included mobile options, though these were not preferred.
City staffers noted high demand on lower Rosalind Park could be alleviated by completing the Garden of the Future and Canterbury Park event spaces.
"It will be up to council to consider the report and its recommendation to monitor the demand for a new major outdoor performing space over the next five to 10 years," strategy and growth acting director Trevor Budge said.
"Councillors will also consider the report's other recommendations."
The city invested $10,000 in the feasibility study, with additional funding from Regional Development Victoria and the Rotary Club of Bendigo.
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