Greater Bendigo’s 2024/2025 Budget: Focuses on Community Priorities

May 28, 2024 10:09 am in by
Photo: Oliver Strewe from Getty Images.

Greater Bendigo’s 2024/2025 Budget has a strong investment focus on roads, footpaths, and flood resilience to meet community priorities.

The Budget has been developed in line with the Victorian Government’s rate cap of 2.75 per cent.

This year’s Council Operating Budget is $169M, funding the maintenance of parks, gardens, recreation facilities, waste collection, street cleaning, environmental health, statutory planning, road maintenance, tourism, visitor services, Bendigo Art Gallery, The Capital, and Ulumbarra theatres, among other services.

Article continues after this ad

Mayor Metcalf says council “had to consider the serious impact of our changing environment and the challenges it brings, such as the recent floods, which are estimated to require $15 million in repairs over the next two years.

Over the past five years, the gap between inflation and rate increases has reached an estimated $49M. Waste charges will now rise by $34 for a 140L bin in the 2024/2025 financial year. This increase reflects the cost of providing the service.

Mayor Metcalf says, “While Council is acutely aware of the cost of living pressures in Greater Bendigo, the community relies on the many City services provided and subsidised.

“For most local governments, the reality of operating under rate-capping, with the cost of materials and services increasing alongside community expectations, means Budgets are constrained. The City is making increasingly hard decisions during the year and through the budgeting process.”

Greater Bendigo’s 2024/2025 Budget highlights:

Article continues after this ad

Roads, bridges, and drainage category:

  • $11.1M for road renewals include Nolan Street (from Napier Street to Charleston Road), Forest Lane (from Valentine Street to Langston Street), Howard Street (from Eaglehawk-Neilborough Road to Averys Road)
  • $360,000 for design of six road safety projects ahead of construction in the following financial year (Blackspot program)
  • $500,000 Midland Highway/Waratah Road intersection ultimate signals (funded through the Development Contributions Plan and the City)
  • $3M major road patching program
  • Wattle Street Bridge barrier repairs and works
  • Bendigo Creek infrastructure renewal includes $1.8M for wall replacement at Nolan Street and the section from Booth Street to High Street
  • Work continues on the Kennington Reservoir Dam Wall rehabilitation – $900,000
  • $500,000 for flood recovery works to Spillway Road, Eppalock (damage from the October 2022 floods)

Waste, recycling and resource recovery category:

  • Eaglehawk Landfill rehabilitation to enhance transfer station operations – $153,000

Footpaths, tracks, and trails category:

Article continues after this ad
  • $2.8M funding for new and renewal funding for footpaths. New footpaths include Edwards Road, Kennington, Galvin Street, Bendigo, Nelson Street, California Gully, and Simpsons Road, Eaglehawk Stage 1, and Stage 2
  • $274,000 final allocation of funds for completing the Emu Creek underpass underneath Wellington Street, Strathfieldsaye
  • $674,000 for new shared paths including along Gungurru Road and Rennie Street in Huntly
  • Advocacy will continue on the design and options for the Bendigo Low Line project, creating a 4.4km shared walking and cycling path from Maple Street, Golden Square to Weeroona Avenue, White Hills

Parks, gardens, and open spaces category:

  • Renew public furniture, BBQs, and drinking fountains – $476,000
  • Garden Gully toilet block and play space design in Ironbark – $50,000 and play space renewals at Nabila Cresent play space, and Neangar Kindergarten play space

Civic and city-owned community upgrades and projects:

  • $4.3M to the Heathcote Civic Precinct upgrade, which also benefits from a $1M Living Libraries grant and $2M from the Commonwealth’s Growing Regions fund
  • Marong Kindergarten and Community Hub Stage 1
  • Eaglehawk Courthouse access and amenities design
  • Continuation of Elmore public toilet renewal
  • Lake Weeroona changing place facility design
  • Kangaroo Flat Library tea room, kitchen and walkway renewal designs
  • Chinese Joss House Stage 2 structural renewal
Article continues after this ad

Environment initiatives:

  • Continued Council support for the Greater Bendigo Climate Collaboration – $50,000
  • Continued Council participation in Community Carbon, a local carbon planting project that will contribute to offsetting Council’s residual emissions – $50,000 per year for four years
  • Continuation of the Agribusiness Support Officer role which will enable Council to continue to support our farming community
  • Environmental upgrades program which will include electrification, energy efficiency works and roof top solar installations at Council facilities – $320,000

Recreational facilities highlights:

  • Significant investments from other levels of government will support the redevelopment of the Bendigo Bowls Club and the Croquet Club’s facilities
  • Design and delivery of stage 1 works at North Bendigo Recreation Reserve, featuring a new soccer pavilion and change rooms
  • Design and delivery of female-friendly facilities at Golden Square Recreation Reserve
  • Malone Park scoreboard renewal
  • Strathfieldsaye Club Court Stage 3, including tennis and netball court upgrade
  • Strathdale Park cricket nets extension
  • Spring Gully cricket nets renewal
  • Tannery Lane, Warne Court (juniors’ oval) drainage and ground renewal
  • Bendigo Regional Hockey Complex sport lighting design