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Council has resolved to release the Draft Maiden Gully Precinct Structure Plan to the community for public display and submissions.
Following 12 months of community and stakeholder engagement, the Plan focuses primarily on the Maiden Gully New Development Area and identifying land in and around it which is suitable to cater for the emerging township.
Director Planning and Development Prue Mansfield said implementation of the final Precinct Structure Plan is a priority for the City of Greater Bendigo.
“The final Precinct Structure Plan will provide a framework to accommodate our growing population by implementing sustainable, long-term plans for the Maiden Gully area,” Ms Mansfield said.
“The area has undergone significant development and change in recent years, and is home to approximately 4,500 people.
“The semi-rural setting has been attractive to young families, who are also only seven kilometres from the city centre, and is expected to add an additional 4000 houses over the next 20-25 years.
“Preservation of Maiden Gully’s rural and bushland character emerged as a significant priority for the Draft Plan, as was staging future development to limit disruption to established areas and local residents.
“It is important Maiden Gully continues to expand by balancing the expectations of current residents and the needs of new communities for future generations.
“This Plan will act as a guide to do that and our ambition is to do the best we can to build new communities, not new housing estates.”
There are 10 elements to the Draft Plan including:
- Image and character
- Employment and activity centre
- Community facilities
- Open space
- Integrated water management
- Bushfire management
- Transport and movement
- Utilities and energy
- Sustainable development
Ms Mansfield said the Draft Plan will be on display until June 5, before it is revised and presented to Council for adoption.
“The City wants to ensure our communities have the space, facilities and infrastructure needed to accommodate our growing population, so Maiden Gully residents are encouraged to comment on the Draft Plan to ensure they have ample opportunity to have their say on the town’s development.”
As the City of Greater Bendigo Independent Review has largely completed the consultation and research phase, the Independent Review Committee (IRC) believes that it is timely to reiterate the process that is being undertaken as the review moves towards reporting and recommendations.
In February 2013, the Council announced the appointment of a six member committee to oversee an independent review of the Council. The Council representatives on the IRC are Cr Lisa Ruffell (Mayor), Cr Peter Cox and Cr James Williams. The community representatives are Mr Rod Hanson (Chair), Margaret O’Rourke and Nigel McGuckian.
On March 6, after a thorough assessment by the IRC, the Council announced the appointment of Aurecon as the project consultant to seek and evaluate community opinions, and to undertake a detailed assessment and analysis of Council activities. The IRC’s role is to provide governance and to ensure that the process is undertaken according to the specified scope, budget and timetable.
The IRC will also ensure that due weight is given to the evidence in preparation of recommendations. The budgeted cost for the Review is $250,000 and the report is to be completed by June 30.
Aurecon is currently finalising the information gathering phase of the Review and is well advanced in preparing the structure of the report.
The Review process will:
- Benchmark the City of Greater Bendigo against other comparable councils and the private sector, where relevant
- Consider the 120 written and verbal submissions received from the public, staff and other key stakeholders
- Evaluate information and documentation received from Council and external stakeholders
- Comment on what the City does well and make recommendations for improvements
The information gathering phase has also involved conducting more than 85 meetings and interviews with community members, businesses and organisations, City of Greater Bendigo staff, the Mayor and Councillors. Interviews will conclude in May.
Aurecon has asked stakeholders to consider their vision for the municipality, including current and future key challenges, as well as opportunities for the City.
“It is good to see so many members of our community involving themselves in the process, providing constructive comments and demonstrating real affection for the City,” IRC Chair Rod Hanson said.
In order to manage the wide-ranging scope, Aurecon will group the Review report into four concurrent work streams:
- Workstream One – Council income and expenditure, economic development and Council’s role associated with it
- Workstream Two – Quality of service delivery by Council and innovative strategies in management, staffing and structure of Council
- Workstream Three – Prioritising capital and major works
- Workstream Four – Council’s communication and community engagement strategies
“I am impressed by the detailed research and assessment undertaken by Aurecon. I look forward to discussing findings in the near future as the report evolves. I’m very pleased that the project is tracking smoothly and on schedule,” Mr Hanson said.
In addition to reporting on the four workstreams, Aurecon will also be providing recommendations and commentary around overarching themes identified as being applicable to multiple areas of the review. Submissions from community members will be incorporated into these overarching themes.
The City of Greater Bendigo is reminding property owners and tenants alike to ensure the pedestrian pathways outside their properties are free from hazards.
The spring and summer periods can cause vegetation to grow at a rapid rate, which may result in plants protruding on or over footpaths.
Environmental Health and Local Laws Manager Susannah Milne said while some plants may cause someone to trip, overhanging trees or plants could cause possible eye injuries.
“People of all ages use our footpaths, including the vision impaired, elderly and those in wheelchairs and mobility scooters, so it is important to make sure pathways are clear,” Ms Milne said.
“Residents are encouraged to take reasonable steps to maintain and make their property a safe place to walk past, ensuring there is no danger of causing injury or lack of confidence in getting around the streets.
“If a resident believes there is a problem, we suggest a quick conversation with your neighbour will usually fix it but if this doesn’t work, contact the City and an inspection of the property will be arranged.”
A Local Laws Officer will inspect the property and if the owner/occupier is home at the time, will discuss possible remedies to resolve the issue.
If there is no one home at the time of the inspection, a letter requesting works will be sent to the owner/occupier. A seven to 14 day period is normally given for these works to occur and a follow up inspection is conducted.
Vision Australia Bendigo Manager Ruth O’Connell said she welcomed the City’s request, as it was vital households and businesses trim vegetation in their gardens.
“People who are blind or visually impaired can brush against branches or trees and get a fright, which can force them off a footpath or pathway and threaten their safety,” Ms O’Connell said.
If an owner/occupier does remove vegetation in the coming weeks, they can make the most of the free green waste disposal weekend at the Eaglehawk and Heathcote landfill sites on May 25-26.
A customer request can also be lodged with the City by phoning 5434 6000, if there are any trees on nature strips or public land that also need trimming.
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In fact, the fit of a person to the role is a key factor. When someone is suited to a role they find it easier to perform and they enjoy their work – which leads to that often sought after factor of “employee engagement”. This will also increase their output – we tend to do more of what we like – and also creates a more positive work environment because co-workers are happy with their work.
Interestingly, the research of several recruitment companies has found that companies all too often hire on skills yet terminate employment on fit.
Despite what many people seem to think, the decision to hire is a two way process. Yes the company offering the position can choose to offer a job, but the individual to whom that is offered can choose not to accept if that job is not right for them. There are times where people accept a job offer more because they feel flattered and valued than being able to realistically assess if that job is really right for you.
Obviously there is an element of practicality that underpins all of these comments – yes an income is critical and there will be times where you may take a role purely for the money. The job becomes a clear means to an end. Where problems can start to appear though is the day you realise that this is possibly going to be what the rest of your working life involves.
Career choice is not only about finding the perfect role – it is also about understanding you, your abilities and your options far better. There are some people who have found what they want to do and are working in that area. Others are working as a means to an end, which is perfectly fine as long as you are conscious of having made that choice. If you are in a job that is truly a JOB (just off broke) where you only look forward to the salary you receive then life can be tough and hard.
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The City of Greater Bendigo will help facilitate a series of free workshops designed to build the confidence and skills of parents and carers of people living with disability.
The workshops will run from 9am to 2pm on May 16, May 30 and June 13 and cover three key areas:
- Values and attitudes in action
- Carers and services working in partnership
- Building community connections
Director Community Wellbeing Pauline Gordon said the workshops will provide an opportunity for carers and parents to share ideas and discuss the challenges faced by those caring for people living with disability.
“The three workshops will allow for parents and carers to learn more, network and develop the strategies to better care for those who need them most,” Ms Gordon said.
“They will also learn how to work positively with local support services and how to further enrich the life of the person they care for.”
The workshops are limited to 25 places per session and preference will be given to those people who commit to all three sessions.
Disability workforce development organisation field is running the workshops in partnership with the City.
The workshops will be held at the Capital Theatre, View Street Bendigo.
To register online visit www.etouches.com/gsc-bendigo or phone the City’s Rural Access officers on 5434 6386 or field on 9982 0101
The Independent Review of the City of Greater Bendigo is moving to its next phase with the Independent Review Committee (IRC) and project consultants Aurecon about to commence interviews with those who have requested to make a verbal presentation.
Information gathered to date by Aurecon includes 120 written submissions and around 14,000 documents provided by the City of Greater Bendigo.
Aurecon have already interviewed a significant number of stakeholders including City staff and Councillors. It is anticipated that about 30 verbal submissions from members of the public, Councillors and staff will be presented in the first week of May.
IRC Chair Rod Hanson said he is happy with the way the review is progressing.
“Aurecon are consulting widely; giving people across Greater Bendigo a unique opportunity to have their say on how the City operates and can improve its operations in the future,” Mr Hanson said.
“The submission process has now concluded and interviews with a wide range of key stakeholders from business, the education and health sectors, community groups, individuals, Councillors and Council staff are underway.
“People who have requested to speak in support of their submission and those who wish to make a verbal submission are being given the opportunity to do so.
“We will continue to keep residents and other key stakeholders updated as the Review progresses.”
The final report from Aurecon will be presented to the Independent Review Committee at the end of June. The IRC will then make its final recommendations to Council.
Further information on the Review is available at bendigo.vic.gov.au
Fourteen local businesses have joined forces to form the Bendigo Manufacturing and Mining Equipment Group in a bid to win more work from Australia’s booming mining sector.
City of Greater Bendigo Economic Development Manager Brian Gould said the Bendigo Manufacturing and Mining Equipment Group (BMME) is a specialist network of local manufacturing and engineering companies who provide services to the mining industry.
“The express aim of the new group, which is facilitated by the City of Greater Bendigo’s Economic Development Unit, is to find and win work within the mining and minerals processing sectors.
“Bendigo is known for its mining history and many of these companies have been providing services to the mining sector for many years. All of the companies involved have a range of expertise and experience to offer to the mining industry.
“By forming this new specialist group it is hoped to increase the capacity and output of the Bendigo region by working collaboratively to utilise proven expertise in design and manufacturing to supply plant, equipment and services to the resources sector.”
Mr Gould said representatives from Andy’s Earthmovers, Australian Turntable Company, B Keogh & Sons, Bendigo Engineering Services, Hofmann Bendigo, Industrial Conveying Australia, Keech Australia, Mancala, McCullochs Manufacturing, Motherson Elastomers, Southern Shorthaul Railroad, Spoutvac Australia, UME and Universal Manufacturing Australia today showed their commitment to the new group by signing a charter setting out the vision, purpose and guiding principles of the new group.
“The new group’s vision is to be a readily accessible, cost effective, value added supplier to the mining and resources sector.
“Members of the group believe that by working together they can provide a competitive and sustainable solution to mining businesses by lowering their cost of production and strengthening their supply chain,” said Mr Gould.
He said while the City of Greater Bendigo’s Economic Development Unit’s role is to work with the group and support its initial activities it will not be involved in commercial negotiations with purchasers of plant, equipment and services.
Following the recent collapse of a brick wall on Melbourne’s Swanston Street, the City of Greater Bendigo is reminding residents, local businesses and organisations that any building or structure belonging to them must be safe and fit for use.
Any structure on public or private property that may be of concern should be assessed by a structural engineer. It may then need to be hoarded and screened off until work has been completed and it is deemed safe.
In the event the structure or building of concern is on a construction site, the building surveyor in charge of the building permit is responsible for ensuring public safety.
Manager Building and Property Services Andy Walker said the City should be notified of any serious structural damage or similar issues that appear on properties.
“The City works diligently to ensure its facilities and infrastructure meet a certain set of safety standards, and private property owners and residential and commercial builders have the same responsibility,” Mr Walker said.
“The City also has a role in keeping the community safe by making sure that property owners regularly check their buildings or structures, both during the construction phase or if they have been standing for a long period of time.
“City officers will take action if they become aware that a building or structure is a potential risk to occupiers or members of the public.
“It is quite easy for a brick wall, fence or shed to become a hazard, so it is better to be safe not sorry when it comes to such matters.”
If needed, the Municipal Building Surveyor, under the Building Act 1993, can issue emergency orders, building orders and building notices requiring owners to ensure the safety of other people and property within the municipality.
If members of the public have any concerns regarding the condition and safety of existing structures or those on building sites, they can contact the City’s Building and Property Unit on 5434 6347 for advice.
The City of Greater Bendigo is looking for people who are interested in joining its Natural Environmental Advisory Committee.
City of Greater Bendigo Mayor Cr Lisa Ruffell said the Natural Environmental Advisory Committee’s role is to provide the best possible advice and guidance to Council on how to conserve, enhance and promote places of environmental significance.
“The Committee also support Council in the development of strategy, policy and advocacy concerning the natural environment,” said Cr Ruffell.
She said the Committee serves a very important function as a formal advisory committee of Council, providing an advisory and advocacy role around natural environment issues.
“The Committee provides an opportunity for members of the community to contribute their skills, knowledge and ideas in a formal structured setting and I encourage any interested resident to consider submitting an expression of interest to become part of the committee.
“The Council recently increased the community representation on the Committee from 6 to 10 which has provided an even greater opportunity for community involvement which we are very keen to see,” said Cr Ruffell.
Appointments are made for three years and the Committee meets bi-monthly, generally on the first Tuesday at 5.30pm.
Expressions of interest must be submitted by Friday May 17 2013. The Committee’s terms of reference, expression of interest form and further information, can be obtained by contacting Anthony Sheean on 5434 6374 or 0419 762 787.
The City of Greater Bendigo is preparing to remove and relocate several semi-mature trees from the Bendigo Central Business District and plant a large Chinese Windmill Palm in the Williamson Street/Lyttleton Terrace roundabout.
City of Greater Bendigo Manager Parks and Natural Reserves Simon Harrison said work will commence today Thursday April 18 to remove a Horse Chestnut from the Williamson Street/Lyttleton Terrace roundabout and two Moreton Bay Fig Trees from a stand of three trees in the Civic Gardens.
“The Fig trees in the Civic Gardens were planted too close together so we are removing and relocating the two end ones which will leave plenty of room for the middle one to continue to thrive.
“The two Figs are being relocated to Lake Weeroona while the Horse Chestnut is being relocated to the Bendigo Botanical Gardens at White Hills. The roundabout will be replanted with a large 8.5 metre Chinese Windmill Palm (Trachycarpus fortunei) that has been donated by the owner of a private property in Tramways Avenue.
“The owner of the Chinese Windmill Palm is happy that the tree, which we estimate is between 80 and 100 years old is to be placed in such a prominent location to be enjoyed by the general public,” said Mr Harrison.
He said the City has also received a further donation of a Mexican Fan Palm or (Washingtonia robusta), which is also a very recognisable species found around Bendigo.
“This Palm is coming from a private residence in Sunset Drive, Strathfieldsaye and is likely to be re-planted within the Bendigo Botanic Gardens at White Hills in the future.
“The City of Greater Bendigo is appreciative when residents donate these types of species of Palms as they grow well in Bendigo and they transplant relatively easily.
“Palms are very much a statement tree that have and continue to thrive in Bendigo since the city’s earliest days,” said Mr Harrison.