8.16pm: Cr Alden says a new approach has emerged in Adelaide to sort containers with new technology.
She says the success of the internet of things in Bendigo showed potential for a similar idea locally.
Councillors have unanimously voted in favour of the idea.
And that's all for me tonight. Thank you for following along!
8.10pm: That's it. The council is all for bringing the motions to the attention of the Municipal Association of Victoria for consideration at its state council meeting in May.
Seems there's something I wasn't expecting, though. Cr Metcalf has suggested the city write to Lily D'Ambrosio as the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change seeking support for the introduction of a container deposit scheme.
"I think Australians will be disappointed with what's happening with our recycling once it leaves our kerbside," Cr Metcalf says.
She has outlined the success of container deposit schemes elsewhere.
"This needs to happen in Victoria and the time is right to make it happen," Cr Metcalf says.
8.03pm: Last one on the agenda for me this evening - the Municipal Association of Victoria state council in May 2019.
Cr Fyffe says all four of the city staff's suggestions to be put forward at the meeting are important.
We went into the four proposed motions in some detail in our preview for today's meeting, which you can see here.
Cr Fyffe believes the city has a very good chance of having the issues it identified raised at the MAV state council meeting in May.
Cr George Flack is also in support of the four motions proposed by the city.
Cr Alden has focused on two of the four proposed motions, which would address environmental issues such as waste management.
She believes retaining the EPA Landfill Levies it collects for use on approved projects would be an innovative approach.
"The novelty of this proposal is that it would restructure the fund," Cr Alden says.
She's also supportive of the idea of Victoria getting on board with a container deposit scheme.
8.01pm: Cr Metcalf says she believes the minor upgrades should be prioritised for progression and supported the recommendation.
Councillors have all voted in support of the recommendation, which is principally to monitor demand for a new facility.
7.58pm: Cr Emond is speaking to the outcomes of a feasibility study for a Bendigo Outcome Performing Arts Space.
He says the study has showed the community's aspirations for such a project.
Much like the report resulting from the study, he believes the demand for such a space needs to be monitored in the next five - 10 years.
Cr Emond has thanked Valerie Broad for championing the issue.
He says suggested minor upgrades, identified in the study, are worthy of being considered.
7.50pm: The Bendigo Airport Vegetation Offset Strategy is now our focus - the sixth item on the agenda.
It's technical - it involves transferring council land to crown land and the other way around.
There's also an element of removing parcels of land from the Bendigo Regional Park and including them in the Bendigo Aerodrome Reserve.
Trees interfering with height restrictions would be removed to make way for the airport to reach it's potential and to expand.
Both Cr Williams and Cr Metcalf are in support.
Cr Fyffe says he thinks people should understand it's the Civil Aviation Safety Authority that sets the rules if we want the flights to come in and out of the airport.
A number of trees were identified as problematic to the airport's certification to enable Qantas to start flying out on March 31.
The council has unanimously supported the recommendation as stated in the council agenda.
7.44pm: Cr Metcalf says the strategy could go further.
"Disruption is here, and we should be planning for it," she says, speaking about the digital opportunities afforded by new technology.
Had she have been involved in the report's compilation, Cr Metcalf also says she would have called for waste to be included in the strategy.
She says the document needs further work before she can endorse it.
Cr Emond says he thinks one of the things the strategy does very well is look to opportunities.
"To sit and contemplate the jobs that are lost... can be a bit short-sighted," he says.
He has reinforced that the strategy before the council is a draft, and is looking forward to further feedback.
Cr Williams also believes waste fits within the document, and he might make a submission with further suggestions.
But he says it's a good document and will position the city well for the future.
"I think it's a good start. I think we can make a pretty healthy submission to them, Cr Metcalf," Cr Williams says.
Cr Metcalf is the only one to vote against the strategy.
7.38pm: Cr Wrigglesworth also fully supports the document.
Cr Alden says the strategy is well-timed, as the city reviews its own economic development strategy.
The regional strategy is a 10-year view.
Cr Fyffe says this strategy is an important one and one that would benefit the whole region.
Since the last census, just under 17500 new jobs were created in the Loddon Campaspe region, Cr Fyffe says.
He has called that 'extraordinary' and says the region's growth should build on that.
7.32pm: Cr Williams is speaking to the Loddon Campaspe Regional Economic Growth Strategy, which is the next item on the agenda.
"There is a real economic and innovation opportunity," he says.
He's speaking to the opportunities emerging from the northern areas of the region and the importance of the agricultural industries and manufacturers operating in the area.
"Can't reiterate enough - efficiencies in transport... and manufacturing and creating jobs in our own area is how we will move forward," Cr Williams said.
He's suggested the Loddon Valley Highway be included in the scope of the strategy.
7.28pm: Cr Alden says work has been underway for many years to connect the infrastructure needed to walk and cycle in the city throughout the years.
She says she's among the women uncomfortable cycling on Bendigo's roads, but wants to feel safe doing so.
Less than five per cent of the women surveyed for the strategy felt comfortable riding a bicycle with traffic.
Cr Emond says he thinks the strategy will be 'a cracker' when it comes through.
Low-lying cycle paths could pose an opportunity for the city, Cr Williams says.
He's referring to a proposal for Bendigo Creek.
Councillors have unanimously supported putting the draft strategy out for further consultation.
7.23pm: The draft Walk, Cycle Greater Bendigo strategy is being discussed now.
Cr Wrigglesworth says the benefits of meeting activity targets are known, and the benefits would flow on to the community.
"I wholly support this release of the draft,' she says.
"In particular, I love that our rural communities are also addressed in this draft."
Cr Metcalf has congratulated those involved in putting together the draft.
She says it's also relevant to note the discussions taking place in Bendigo about walking and cycling are taking place elsewhere.
7.21pm: Councillors Alden, Emond, Pethybridge, Williams, Wrigglesworth and O'rourke have voted for it.
Councillors Flack, Fyffe and Metcalf against.
7.18pm: Cr Alden says she sees no reason not to support the proposal.
Cr Emond says the council could spend time debating how to define the use of the space.
"It's a small component that's an office space," he says.
Defining the entire use of the space as an office would be 'a bit of a stretch'.
He says the council could not impose parking on the applicant.
"I do think it's a great use of a place that used to be a hotel," Cr Emond says.
7.12pm: Cr Williams believes the reuse would be far more sympathetic to the area.
He, too, said he'd done a bit of thinking about the proposal given some of the points raised in some of the objections.
"I honestly believe you could get a lot worse outcome than this," Cr Williams says.
Cr Metcalf is not supportive of the recommendation.
She's not convinced the proposed use fits within the definition of a 'place of assembly'.
"In my opinion, the proposed use is more in line with the definition of an office," Cr Metcalf said.
She says she's not persuaded the railway station upgrade will provide further access to parking, either.
"There is no doubt what is proposed would be a good outcome," she says.
"This is a good proposal but in the wrong location."
7.07pm: There's a proposal for the site of the former Railway Hotel at 9 Hall Street, Eaglehawk, to be used as a 'place of assembly' by Access Creative Studios.
Cr Pethybridge says the hotel has only been closed for 12 months and there's still the potential for it to be used as a hotel in future.
But he believes the Access Creative Studios proposal, which would see the space used to provide social inclusion programs for adults, is worthy.
"I'd rather this than a hotel or a hall," Cr Pethybridge says, putting himself in the shoes of neighbours.
It would only be open from 8.30am - 5pm on weekdays and 9am - 3pm on Saturdays, which is partly why he says that.
Activities proposed for the space include visual arts, numeracy and literacy, gardening, woodwork, healthy eating workshops and up-cycling workshops.
6.59pm: Third subdivision proposal, for three lots and the construction of three dwellings at 7 Julian Court, Epsom.
The city staffers have recommended a permit be granted.
Cr Williams and Cr Pethybridge, however, believe it would be an over-development.
"I'd have concerns if I lived there," Cr Williams said.
He cited character, traffic and over development concerns about the site.
Cr Pethybridge agreed.
Cr Metcalf won't be supporting the recommendation, either.
Cr Wrigglesworth and Cr Alden were the only ones to break ranks, voting against the trend.
6.56pm: Another subdivision proposal, this time for 74 Condon Street, Kennington.
And, yet again, councillors have been recommended not to grant a permit.
This time, it's because no drainage study has been provided.
The matter has been quickly dealt with - councillors have moved in accordance with the recommendation.
6.55pm: Cr Pethybridge went out to see the area and agrees with his fellow councillors that the permit be refused.
And that's exactly what they've all decided to do - they've voted in support of the recommendation.
6.49pm: Next, an application for a two-lot subdivision and construction of a second dwelling at 1 Percival Street, Quarry Hill.
Councillors have been recommended to refuse the permit, citing concerns about adversely impacting a heritage place and failure to comply with a number of clauses in several city policies.
So far, both Cr Matt Emond and Cr Alden are on board with refusing the permit.
"It's back to the drawing board in this case," Cr Alden says.
There is a heritage overlay, which is a key reason for the recommendation to councillors.
Cr Metcalf is also against issuing a permit.
6.43pm: "I don't believe the trees planted in Elandra Drive would be planted now", Cr Metcalf says, based on how tall they could grow - about 20 metres.
The trees are spotted gums.
Cr Metcalf says the council ought to consider this a notice from the residents that there could be issues associated with the trees.
Cr Williams is summing up.
"I think there are a lot more trees we will be taking before we look at these," he says.
Cr Metcalf has voted against the recommendation to councillors, but it's had the support of the broader council.
The recommendation is to retain all the existing trees in the streetscape at Elandra Drive.
Fifty-five people signed the petition, among them residents of 37 of the 46 lots fronting Elandra Drive and four from neighbouring roads.
6.37pm: We've moved on to a petition calling for 56 gum trees along the nature strips at Elandra Drive and Myrtle Road, Ascot, to be removed.
Doesn't seem like the councillors are keen on this idea.
"For now, that looks really nice and enhances the neighbourhood," Cr Pethybridge says.
Cr Alden says people might not be aware, but nature has a value.
She says each of the trees were valued at $4000 each.
The petition cites a lack of appeal of their street and concerns over mess, maintenance and potential damage caused by tree roots as reasons why the trees should be removed.
We're up to our fourth councillor - Cr Metcalf - to speak on the petition.
So far, the councillors who have addressed the issue have spoken to the benefits the 10-year-old trees provide including reducing heat and improving the appearance of the street.
6.35pm: Council has moved the proposed budget, which means it'll be open to public submissions from tomorrow until close of business on May 17.
Submissions can also be heard at a meeting on May 22 at the council's main offices at Lyttleton Terrace.
To make online submissions, see the City of Greater Bendigo website.
Council hopes to adopt its budget at its June meeting.
6.28pm: Cr James Williams says the budget builds on the positive work being done in a number of facets of the community's development.
In a rate capping environment, he says the draft budget highlights the importance of partnerships in delivering projects.
Cr Rod Fyffe says the city received $155m worth of requests for capital works. It has proposed capital works budget of $42.8 million.
He says meeting the demand for works in a rate capping environment requires councils to be more innovative.
6.27pm: This is Cr Malcolm Pethybridge's first budget, and he says it has been a great learning process.
He, like the other speakers, has congratulated those involved in putting it together.
6.24pm: Cr Jennifer Alden says she would like to highlight policies that might not be headline grabbers like health initiatives.
"The budget shows how we aim to support the vulnerable in our community," she says.
She has recommended the draft budget to the community.
6.21pm: Cr Metcalf says she has noticed a gap in the renewals program, which she will be keeping an eye on.
She says she is looking forward to residents' feedback on the draft budget.
The budget is expected to be adopted during the city's June meeting.
6.20pm: Cr Yvonne Wrigglesworth is emphasising both the dog park at Heathcote and a commitment to implement the Our Watch Workplace Quality and Respect Framework.
6.15pm: We're onto the first item on the agenda - the proposed budget.
Mayor Margaret O'Rourke says the council's third budget is very much 'community-focused' and in keeping with its aspiration for Bendigo to become the world's most liveable community.
"In funding these projects council has responded to what residents have said is important to them," she says.
Council has been working on this budget since August last year.
6.08pm: We're off! We're expecting this meeting to keep us busy, with the draft budget among the expected highlights.
Here are two stories we prepared earlier:
Click here for a summary of what we know to expect, based on the meeting agenda.
Council meeting agenda, April 2019
Now, we'd better charge along with what's happening in the chamber as I frantically type - Cr Andrea Metcalf is giving her report to council.
We haven't had any questions from the public today.
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