Dog park for Heathcote

By Nicholas Nakos

The Greater Bendigo City Council’s 2019/20 proposed budget features a $190 million operating expenditure to continue to fund important services for the community.

Nearly $43 million of that is investment in new and renewal projects to maintain and develop infrastructure.

$12.6 million has been set aside for works on sealed roads, with $3 million on unsealed roads and $3.1 million on footpaths and shared paths.

These works will take place across the region and include roundabout installations, road seal extensions and drainage works.

“We know that the state of our roads, footpaths and drainage is really important to our community,” Cr Margaret O’Rourke said.

“Investing in infrastructure is an important part of responding to our growing community,” she said.

Services from maternal and child health to street cleaning, environmental health and operators at the Bendigo Art Gallery, The Capital and Ulumbarra theatres are all covered by the operating expenditure.

While the budget does not forecast projects of a scale as grand as the Ulumbarra Theatre or Gurri Wanyarra Wellbeing Centre, there is an emphasis on community projects that will have a local impact.

A new dog park in Heathcote, an expansion of the Huntly Early Learning Centre and construction of a near footpath along the Calder Highway at Maiden Gully are just some of the proposed projects.

The budget proposes that the total revenue generated from rates and charges to near $122 million this financial year.

For every $100 paid by ratepayers, more than a quarter of that goes to capital and major works, with corporate services and waste, recycling and environment spend each making up more than 10 per cent of expenditure respectively.