10-year Financial Plan to guide a sustainable future out for comment

A draft 10-year plan that outlines how the City of Greater Bendigo will sustainably deliver services and infrastructure to the community has been released for public comment.

The draft 10-year Financial Plan 2021-2031 supports the implementation of the draft Council Plan 2021-2025, which is also out for public comment, and the new community vision - Greater Bendigo celebrates our diverse community. We are welcoming, sustainable and prosperous. Walking hand-in-hand with the Traditional Custodians of this land. Building on our rich heritage for a bright and happy future.

The City delivers 69 services to the community and maintains $1.8B of community assets, such as swimming pools, roads, footpaths, bridges, sports grounds, theatres and playgrounds – just to name a few!

Feedback from the Imagine Greater Bendigo community consultation process has informed the development of the plan by asking residents how Council should prioritise services, maintain infrastructure and invest in new projects.

There were a wide variety of responses but some of the main feedback included better scoping, planning, monitoring and evaluation of projects, prioritise health and wellbeing, prioritise environmental sustainability, improve efficiency and find more ways to generate income.

Residents were also asked if they would prefer a small additional increase in rates or a change in service delivery, and the answer to this was approximately 50 per cent for and 50 per cent against. This plan also only includes small increases to rates in line with CPI and the State’s Fair Go Rates System.

Mayor Cr Dr Jennifer Alden said it was a requirement of the new Local Government Act for Councils to prepare a 10-year Financial Plan.

“Council is committed to operating in a financially sustainable way for the benefit of the whole community. Our population is forecast to reach 155,000 by 2036 and 200,000 by 2050, so this additional growth requires a disciplined approach to funding current services and projects and any new initiatives that may be required,” Cr Alden said.

“It is important both Council and the community are realistic and understand that some services will have to change over the life of this plan.

“To assist long-term with operational savings, Council has a commitment to achieving zero carbon emissions and there are a number of actions in the draft Council Plan that also support this aspiration. This will have a generational benefit but some short-term cost implications.

“The draft plan has been prepared to consider all of these factors, and we welcome the community’s feedback on this approach.”

The draft 10-year Financial Plan 2021-2031 is available for public comment until Monday September 6.

For more information and to make a submission, visit www.bendigo.vic.gov.au/imagine


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