BENDIGO'S council has reinstated Marong's maternity consultations but questions remain about the cramped rooms it operates out of.
The City of Greater Bendigo restarted consultations last Friday in a new six month trial, following a community campaign to keep the Maternal and Child Health Service's service in the fast-growing suburb.
Councillors will be asked on Monday to endorse both the trial and work on long term plans for improvements in a building nurses say is too small.
"The nurses find it a difficult space to work in," council officers said in their report.
"There is a carpeted area which is designated as a waiting area for MCH clients however this area is also the foyer for the kindergarten which is quite busy at drop off and pick up times."
The building's limitations will force parents and children to go to other facilities for one key health test needed at three-and-a-half years of age.
The consultation room is too small for eye tests to take place.
Council staff have recommended that planning begin on a new Marong community hub that would be able to house the service as well as a kindergarten and general space for the public.
Face-to-face consultations were stopped during the pandemic and the council had hoped to restart them at a new facility in Maiden Gully.
The Marong Community Action Group urged the council to reconsider through a petition signed by 233 people.
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The group's president Heather Wearne said maternal and child health care was an important service for a growing community filled with young families.
"It's really important that a community like Marong is establishing that infrastructure rather than taking away," she said earlier this year when she started the petition.
"That social fabric of connectivity in a community like Marong is incredibly important. Council are promoting that 10 minute walkability, and yet you take away that integral point of [contact].
"Once a service is taken away it takes a very long time to get it back."
The council will finalise its response to the petition three months after elected officials voted unanimously to reinstate maternity and child health services in Elmore.
It came after residents started a similar petition that highlighted the difficulties some parents could face trying to access services that would otherwise be more than 30km away.
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