A PETITION calling for the return of a maternal and child health service to Marong has attracted almost 250 signatures.
Face-to-face maternal and child health services were suspended by the City of Greater Bendigo in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Elmore went through a similar process, losing face-to-face appointments with the community petitioning council to see them return. Bendigo councillors eventually voted to reinstate Elmore's service and said the Marong community would need to make the first move to get a similar result.
The petition has been submitted to the City of Greater Bendigo and makes up part of the agenda for Thursday night's council meeting.
It highlights a number of health and wellbeing reasons for requesting the reinstatement of maternal and child health services to Marong including the growth of the suburb in recent years.
"Marong is a community of young families," the petition reads. "Census data (from 2016) records 57.5 per cent of the Marong population being aged 34 or younger. This trend has continued to grow in the follow years.
"Maternal and child health services were provided within the Marong Kindergarten facilities. The kindergarten educators believe this was an ideal situation allowing young children to develop familiarity and facilitate a smooth transition into kindergarten through their visits to the maternal and child health service."
The petition also highlights a lack of convenient public transport for parents and families that need to access maternal and child health services and the decrease in social connectedness since the service was removed.
Council staff have recommended councillors respond to the petition within two council meetings.
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