Mayor and CEO to travel to Canberra for Local Government summit

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Mayor Cr Margaret O’Rourke and Chief Executive Officer Craig Niemann will travel to Canberra this weekend to participate in the National General Assembly of Local Government.

They will seek Federal Government support for key projects in the lead up to next year’s election and also raise the importance of a long term waste management solution for Greater Bendigo and the wider Loddon Mallee.

Cr O’Rourke and Mr Niemann will use the visit to meet with Minister for Sport, Rural Health and Regional Communications Bridget McKenzie, an advisor to the Minister for Finance Matthias Cormann, an advisor to the Minister for Regional Government, Territories and Local Government Dr John McVeigh, an advisor to Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, various Shadow Ministers and their advisors, and Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters.

Cr O’Rourke said she looked forward to holding productive meetings.

“This is a great opportunity to discuss key projects that Council would like to see supported, particularly through commitments in the lead up to the Federal election, and advocate for our application to the Building Better Regions Fund to upgrade and extend the existing Bendigo Airport terminal building,” she said.

“Our discussions with airlines continue and we’re aware that the facilities will need to be upgraded in the near future to meet their expectations. 

“Long term waste management is also critical, particularly in light of China refusing to accept some of Australia’s recycling. There are a range of waste management solutions, such as waste to energy, but they are expensive and it will be good to gauge the Federal Government’s commitment to funding these initiatives.    

“General discussions regarding our investment prospectus will focus on extending and rebranding the Golden Dragon Museum as the National Chinese Museum of Australia, funding to revitalise Central Deborah Gold Mine, positioning Greater Bendigo to host major events and support for Heathcote Dementia Village.

“We will also raise a City Deal for Bendigo, female and family-friendly sporting infrastructure, the City’s recent collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute and Bendigo’s capabilities to accommodate decentralisation of government agencies.

“As Chair of Regional Cities Victoria, I will also take the opportunity to discuss continued investment in the Building Better Regions Fund and Regional Growth Fund, increased investment in regional communications, ensuring regional Victoria is connected to the proposed Airport Rail Link and meeting labour shortages through targeted immigration programs.

“I am sure this will be another great opportunity to hold proactive and constructive discussions to ensure Greater Bendigo and regional Victoria remain front-of-mind, particularly in the lead up to an election.”

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