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City releases draft Community Buildings Policy for public comment

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The City of Greater Bendigo has released a draft Community Buildings Policy for public comment. The draft policy outlines the principles and decision-making framework the City proposes to apply to the future planning, design, resourcing, management and use of community buildings.

City of Greater Bendigo Mayor Cr Margaret O’Rourke said community buildings make important contributions to Greater Bendigo’s liveability and are generally recognised as places where the community can gather to participate in a range of wellbeing, social and life-long learning activities and programs.

“Greater Bendigo has approximately 1000 existing community buildings. Halls and pavilions at recreation reserves make up the majority of those however they also include the likes of libraries and early years centres,” Cr O’Rourke said.

“There are currently a range of ownership and management arrangements in place for the existing community buildings.  Examples of other organisations that currently own and manage community buildings include the Department of Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and the Department of Education and Training.

“Eleven community members from both rural and urban areas of Greater Bendigo, representing people of all age groups were appointed following a public expression of interest process to support the development of the draft policy. 

“Through many conversations spanning a six month period, the eleven community members helped the City to understand some of the challenges and opportunities linked to community buildings, as well as what approaches to future community building planning, design, resourcing, management and use would best respond to community needs in a fair and  equitable way.

“Community buildings come in many different forms and are used in a diverse range of ways for a diverse range of needs, so I hope many people and organisations will take up the opportunity to provide feedback on the draft policy.

“Once finalised and adopted, the policy will guide how the City will work with our community and other organisations with the goal of ensuring Greater Bendigo has an equitable network of welcoming and inclusive community buildings by 2036.

“The policy will also provide the basis for the development of a Community Hubs Strategy, to guide the future planning of Greater Bendigo’s community buildings in more detail.”

The draft policy is available to view online at https://www.bendigo.vic.gov.au/communitybuildingspolicy  Feedback on the Draft Policy should be provided to [email protected]  by 5pm on Friday May 29,  2020.

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