Here you can find today's weather, the latest news and sports updates (with photos of course) and anything quirky happening around the traps.
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Last minute cancellation
Hot off the Twitter press, V/Line Bendigo has just informed followers the 6.37pm Southern Cross to Kyneton service has been canceled.
Hope this won't impact too many commutes home tonight.
Sharp spike in active coronavirus cases across Greater Bendigo
Greater Bendigo has recorded 273 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, 49 more than Wednesday.
Active cases have risen by more than 100 overnight, bringing the total to 1477.
The majority of the new cases were linked to postcodes 3550, 3551 and 3556.
Surrounding shires also recorded a number of new cases in the last 24 hours. Macedon Ranges noted another 88, a slight decline from Wednesday's numbers. The shire's active cases also dipped below 500.
Campaspe shire recorded an even 50, taking it's total number of active cases to 276, while the Central Goldfields and Mount Alexander shires recorded 26 and 32 new cases respectively.
Loddon shire reported 14 while Buloke noted 15 new cases overnight, and Gannawarra recorded five.
Echuca-Moama bridge set to open before Easter
Reporter Alex Gretgrix has good news for all of you hoping to get across to NSW this Easter. The multi-million dollar Echuca-Moama bridge project is set to be completed and open months ahead of schedule.
A joint project between the NSW, Victorian and federal governments, word on the street is talks of the bridge have been in the works for more than 50 years. No joke, since 1965 apparently.
Both state and federal politicians have indicated it will be a huge economic boost to the twin towns.
For those of you alive when talks of the bridge began, how does it feel knowing you've seen this it through to the end? Shoot me an email and I'll share your thoughts in the blog.
Is the federal budget doing enough for women?
So, the federal budget was dropped on Tuesday. And since then I'm sure you've all read up on what it means and how it's going to affect you and your family.
If you haven't, our political reporter Neve Brissenden published an extensive breakdown of the budget and its impact on Bendigonians on Tuesday.
And while there were many winners and losers - aged care, wages and climate action to name a few - what was noticeable to me was the lack of initiatives supporting women and gender equality.
In fact, Neve reported only this morning that the federal government has invested about $1 billion less in initiatives for women and girls than the financial year before.
She spoke to Bendigo's Centre for Non-Violence chief executive Margaret Augerinos, who said it was clear from the budget the issue wasn't being looked at as a whole.
"The budget does nothing to address the lack of safe and secure, affordable housing," she said.
"Money to help women leave abusive relationships is helpful, but not if they have nowhere to go."
Do you have any thoughts on this issue or the budget itself? Email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Victoria's daily COVID cases remain above 11,000 while active cases rise
Morning Bendigo, Maddy Fogarty here with the latest coronavirus update.
Victoria has recorded 11,292 new coronavirus cases overnight, bringing the states total number of active cases to 59,589.
The latest Department of Health data also revealed four people have died from the virus.
Health workers tested 23,749 people for COVID-19 on Wednesday.There are 312 people were in hospital due to the virus including 14 in the ICU and four on ventilators.
As far as vaccination rates go, 94.3 per cent of Victorians over the age of 12 are double jabbed. The state's third dose rate has also continued to climb steadily, with 65.6 per cent of eligible Victorians (18-years and over) having received theirs.
Bendigo's booster rate continues to exceed that of Victoria.
Bendigo Health chair Bob Cameron, only yesterday, shared his encouragement of the region's people getting their booster to stay on top of this virus.
"It's no secret that uptake of third doses of COVID-19 vaccine has been slow but the important thing is rates are increasing - about 1-2 per cent a week," he said to health reporter Alex Gretgrix on Wednesday.
The region recorded new 224 cases on Wednesday, taking the city's active cases to 1341.
Other central Victorian councils recorded new cases as well, including Macedon Ranges (97), Campaspe (56) Central Goldfields (33), Mount Alexander (31), Loddon (10), Gannawarra (10) and Buloke (14).
Sun poking through
Good morning, political reporter Neve Brissenden here again this morning. Feeling a bit weary after a pretty big political week - and it's only going to get bigger as opposition leader Anthony Albanese delivers his budget reply speech this evening.
For the region, the weather is once again pretty sunny! Top of 23 degrees in Bendigo, a 10 per cent chance of rain a bit later but overall pretty clear. Looks like the wind will pick up around 10am though.
If you're feeling a little chilly this morning, it's probably because it got to a low of 11 overnight in Bendigo.
On this day
Perhaps my favourite one so far, the late Jimi Hendrix made headlines 55 years ago for some...fire related incidents...
The big news yesterday was the federal budget, which the coalition handed down on Tuesday night.
With an election looming, experts said the budget was a clear pre-election spend. We broke it down for you and showed you what was missing.
In local news, City of Greater Bendigo council are fretting over the state of some of our local heritage buildings.
Councillors are claiming there's no guidance from the state government on new laws introduced last year in order to give council's more power to protect the sites.
Bendigo's vax rate is also pushing well ahead of the state's average.
It's sitting at 68 per cent for 18-59 year olds and 94 per cent for those aged 60 and over, approximately 10 per cent higher than state averages for 18-59 year olds (58 per cent) and 60 plus (85 per cent).
More to come throughout the day.
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