A COUNCILLOR says lactation consultants are critical to the next generation's health, as the City of Greater Bendigo discussed calls for a walk-in Bendigo breastfeeding clinic.
The number of infants being breastfed in 2015 was below the state average, Cr Jen Alden told fellow elected officials before they asked council staff to form a position on the 82-signature petition's demands.
"That doesn't break down specific areas of disadvantage where the rates could be even lower," she told elected colleagues at a meeting on Monday.
Not every baby can breastfeed but research suggests those that do might benefit later in life.
It is very easy for parents to become discouraged, Cr Alden said.
The city already has suitably trained nurses who could fill the role, she said, though she noted their advice was given in combination with other support services in what was already a very busy clinical setting.
Families of young children needed evidence-based help at a time of rapid changes in their lives, Cr Sloan said.
She said that communities with the right supports and culture could drive up the number of people breastfeeding children.
The council did not make any decisions on a walk-in clinic on Monday.
It commissioned staff to form a formal response to the petition within two meetings.
The petition was one of two that councillors voted on when they met on Monday night.
The other called for unleashed dogs to be banned on public property the council owns.
Ten residents had raised concerns about Quarry Hill's golf course and recreation reserve, Cr Rod Fyffe said.
"They are really quite concerned that people just seem to be willy-nilly exercising their dogs on the golf course, recreation reserve and the oval," he said.
Many of those people appeared not to be bothered picking up their dogs' droppings, Cr Fyffe said.
The petition could have public support, council staff told councillors ahead of the meeting.
"Public submissions received during the development of the [council's] Domestic Animal Management Plan showed 76 per of respondents supported a requirement for dogs to be on lead at all times unless in areas designated otherwise," they said.
That review is ongoing, the council told petitioners.
People must currently leash dogs in 10 public areas around Greater Bendigo. Most are in busier parts of the municipality.
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