FINES for illegal building works will rise if the City of Greater Bendigo's proposed budget is approved.
Some penalties for unauthorised commercial and industrial works would almost double, as the city seeks to motivate people to do the 'right thing'.
Residents could expect to pay $994 - $2570 if found to have a shed on their property without the necessary permits, up between 9.5 and 16 per cent on the year prior, depending on the shed's size.
The penalty for illegal verandahs and carports would rise by 13.7 per cent to $1455.
An unauthorised new dwelling would attract a fee of $4640, almost $600 more than the previous financial year.
Fines for illegal extensions, additions and alterations to homes would jump up 10.14 per cent, to $2950.
The city is also seeking to crack down on unauthorised demolition of homes, outbuildings and commercial buildings by raising penalties by 23 - 33 per cent.
Illegal retaining walls could attract fees between $700 - $1750, depending on their length.
The city said the fee had to be higher than the actual building permit, as it was an incentive for people to go through the proper processes.
The fees would pay for the city to deliver the service, which involved inspecting illegal work and carrying out resulting administrative work. They would also ensure everything was done to ensure the works met the relevant building requirements.
The city is also seeking to increase parking fines to $83, up from $55.
Bendigo draft budget 'conservative' again
THE City of Greater Bendigo is setting itself up to finish - and start - projects with its 2019/20 draft budget.
Key inclusions range from the completion of the Garden Gully Hockey Complex to a new skate park in Epsom, and a new dog park in Heathcote.
The city expects finishing the hockey complex to cost it $1.78 million.
It has budgeted $85,000 for the dog park, though exactly where it will be established in Heathcote has yet to be confirmed.
The $310,000 skate park at Epsom is expected to cost the city $23,636, at the end of the day. The city has budgeted for an income of $286,364 toward the project.
It proposes to build a cycling lane between La Trobe University and the Bendigo CBD. The council hopes to split the cost of the $300,000 project with the state government. A funding application is pending.
Extending from Somerville Street to Bendigo South East College and the university, the council planned to construct the city's first on-road, protected bike lane.
It is also seeking to add an early years hub to the Huntly Early Learning Centre, at a cost of $1.5 million.
RELATED DRAFT BUDGET COVERAGE: Parking fine hike proposed
The draft budget would progress the city and state government's plans for a Bendigo GovHub, with the city prepared to set aside $891,549.
It expects to receive $500,000 in income, reducing the cost to $391,549.
Vacating the council offices on the site of the $90 million development and moving to a temporary location is expected to account for most of the money the city proposes to spend on the project this financial year.
It is also aiming to complete the sale of land process for the Lyttleton Terrace site, on which the GovHub will stand.
The council's estimated upfront costs for the entire GovHub project amount to $7.285 million, after accounting for the sale of the land.
The city would be a tenant in the 1000-desk building. The state government would develop, construct and manage the project.
The $42.8 million proposed capital works program also includes drainage works in west Marong and $1.79 million for footpaths throughout the municipality.
Beyond Bendigo, the city proposes to seal a section of Heathcote-North Costerfield Road, west of Heathcote-Nagambie Road.
It also intends to extend the road seal at O'Briens Lane, Longlea, to Hawkins Lane.
Upgrades to change room and umpire facilities at Strauch Reserve, in Huntly, and Malone Park, in Marong have also been factored into the city's plans.
It also aims to complete the construction of netball change rooms at the QEO.
Cr O'Rourke said she would describe the draft budget as, 'conservative as well, but community-focused.'
"The first two budgets featured funding for several major projects, including Gurri Wanyarra and Bendigo Stadium, which now provide fantastic facilities for the community to enjoy," she said.
"This budget's focus is on completing important, high-value projects that needs to be completed, all of which benefit the day-to-day lives of our community."
How will the city fund its plans?
RATES, charges, fees, fines and grants are expected to generate $197.7 million in revenue for the city in the 2019/20 financial year.
The city proposes to increase rates by 2.5 per cent, in accordance with the constraints imposed by rate capping.
Almost 60 per cent of the council's revenue comes from rates and charges.
Waste, recycling and the environment are up there with the biggest consumers of the city's $190 million operating expenditure, at a cost of $23.6 million.
Other significant sources of expenditure include depreciation, asset maintenance and corporate services.
Also on the agenda for April's meeting were four issues city staffers said they would like the peak body for local government to raise with the state government about critical issues such as fulfilling emergency management responsibilities, addressing the waste management crisis by retaining the EPA landfill levies it collects each year, and the introduction of a container deposit scheme.
Staffers also suggested urgent funding be sought to support councils to assume management of local pound and animal shelter services.
The city's proposed budget includes a 5.5 per cent general waste and landfill charge increase.
Organic waste and recycling waste charges will both rise by 2 per cent.
The draft budget includes a cost of $104 to hire up to five, 240 litre bins, up from $20.40.
Those visiting the Eaglehawk Landfill and the city's transfer stations at Goornong/Strathfieldsaye and Heathcote might also notice some increased charges, if the drafted measures come to fruition.
A 27 per cent rise in the cost of depositing domestic and/or clean concrete at the Eaglehawk Landfill is proposed, meaning people will have to fork out $70 per tonne.
It has been suggested people pay between $0.50 and $1 more for each tyre or motorcycle left at the landfill or any of the transfer stations.
The Bendigo Advertiser was told costs associated with the concrete, tyres, and motorcycles had increased to cover third-party processing.
It is understood the fee schedule for the transfer stations was not previously specific to the size of waste being deposited.
The city saw a need to simplify the charging process after noting most residents were bringing wheelie bins, which were not stipulated within the costs.
On an unrelated note, the city has also proposed 'package prices' be introduced for weddings at venues such as the Capital Theatre, Ulumbarra and the Bendigo Town Hall.
Costs were previously itemised for room hire, etc.
Have your say
Make a submission on the draft budget online at bendigo.vic.gov.au/budget
Submissions are open until close of business on Friday, May 17.
Residents can also request to have their submission heard at a meeting on May 22 at the council's main offices at Lyttleton Terrace.
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