This Bendigo life

Bendigo Weekly | Bendigo Weekly | 26-Jul-2013

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ASSESSED: Planning for the future is important
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By Karen Corr
Chairman, Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance

There is a lot of talk about Bendigo – a growing city, increasing population, the need for more housing, more infrastructure and opportunities for economic growth.
These are all fine and needed of course, but the way it seems to be viewed right now among policy makers is population and economic growth occurs exponentially without any consideration of the finite resources and space we actually have, let alone the other potential impacts such as pollution and biodiversity loss just to name a few.
This is an issue which needs discussion.
Bendigo will attract an increased population and so we urgently need to consider what small towns would welcome more people, what areas we consider appropriate for development or no-go zones, how services can be provided economically and how we can design our city innovatively to meet the needs of the population without impacting the things we love.
One of the biggest things we need to consider is what do we want our city to be like in the future and what do we value most about it right now.
Meeting the needs of population increase at the expense of the things we value the most is just not okay, particularly when there are other options available.
That’s the whole point of studies like the recent Landscape Assessment of Big Hill and Mandurang Valley – to find out what areas are of value so we can take this into account in our planning for the future.
This document which included extensive analysis and community consultation was rejected by councillors at the last council meeting.
I’m not really sure what that means now for other planning decisions in Bendigo.
What’s going to happen with the upcoming Residential Development Strategy Review?
Are councillors going to ignore the analysis and responses from the community on this one too?

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