The next wave of greater Bendigo’s construction boom is about to hit.
When you get the call that your local members want to have a press conference at 8am on the day the state budget is announced, you get the feeling good things are coming our way.And they are, to the tune of more than $90 million in state government funding.
There’s no question central Bendigo needs an injection of economic activity, so news the state government will invest $16m in the development of a GovHub and $59.9m to upgrade Bendigo TAFE’s city campus, one of two TAFEs to receive capital funding in the budget, is simply fantastic.
Why develop a GovHub? GovHubs put the customer first and focus on enhancing their overall experience of engaging government.
They are basically a one-stop-shop and are also being built in Ballarat and the La Trobe Valley.
The City of Greater Bendigo will share the building with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Regional Development Victoria, Parks Victoria and the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources. Plus 100 new jobs for greater Bendigo.
More than 1000 people will work in the GovHub when it’s complete, which is great news for retail, hospitality and professional services businesses in the northern-end of central Bendigo. No doubt it will be a shot in the arm for them.
Council has also long advocated for the construction of new law courts, so to see Bendigo share in $20m to purchase land for this important project is a step in the right direction and demonstrates the state government’s commitment to delivering larger, safer and more contemporary court facilities for the Loddon Campaspe region.
But council will continue to advocate for funding to complete the construction trifecta of law courts, GovHub and Bendigo TAFE redevelopment, and will push for a commitment to build the law courts from both sides of politics in the lead up to November’s state election.
These projects are the beginnings of what will be more than a $200m in investment in revitalising our city centre.
There’s also money in the state budget for improved public transport, $7m to plan for upgrades to the McIvor Highway and Bendigo-Redesdale Road.
Sections of the Calder Highway will also be upgraded between Bendigo and Mildura, a particularly great outcome for rural businesses that would be familiar with that stretch of road.
In time, greater Bendigo will no doubt benefit from a range of funding programs that were announced, such as those designed to improve school buildings, health and wellbeing, and crime
Where else would you rather live?
The new Bendigo hospital is nearly complete, as is the Gurri Wanyarra Wellbeing Centre, Bendigo Stadium expansion and Bendigo Tennis Centre (grandstand about to start construction).
The new Bendigo airport runway was recently finished and a few years ago we celebrated the completion of Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo Art Gallery expansion, the new Bendigo Library and the Edwards Street multi-storey car park.
Government funding helps council deliver on its objective for greater Bendigo to be the world’s most liveable community.
These are the types of infrastructure, services and economic stimulation we need to remain at the forefront of regional living.