Planning starts on Mahers Landing upgrade

Source: State of Victoria Local Government

If you enjoy boating in Anderson Inlet, Bass Coast Shire Council wants to talk to you.

Council has been working with Better Boating Victoria to develop concept designs for the upgrade of the Mahers Landing Boating Facility and is now looking for community feedback on the designs.

Bass Coast Shire Mayor, Cr Brett Tessari, said congestion at peak times and wind and wave action at the Inverloch Boat Ramp can mean that boaters look for alternatives and with Mahers Landing only six kilometres away, it becomes a logical choice.

“We want to engage with the community to help us decide on the appropriate development option for Mahers Landing, to create a more user friendly facility,” Cr Tessari said.

“We are holding a community drop-in session at Inverloch Hub and we also have an online survey.

“We hope to see anyone with an interest in boating at the session, however if you can’t make it, you can visit www.basscoast.vic.gov.au/maherslanding to fill out our survey.

“We look forward to working together to guide this important infrastructure development.”

The workshop will be held on Sunday, 11 April from 11.00am to 1.00pm at the Inverloch Community Hub.

For more information, or to view the concept designs visit www.basscoast.vic.gov.au/maherslanding or contact Council’s Natural Resources Officer, David Martin, on d.martin@basscoast.vic.gov.au, or call (03) 5671 2774 or 1300 BCOAST (226 278).

Mayor’s Message – 30 March

Source: State of Victoria Local Government

It was absolutely wonderful to attend the official opening of the Country Universities Centre (CUC) Bass Coast last Friday. Council has been involved in this project since its inception and having this Centre in Wonthaggi will open up some amazing opportunities for students across Bass Coast and surrounding areas. The number of Year 12 students in Bass Coast who don’t take up further education or training is almost double the Victorian state average. We look forward to changing that statistic. The CUC Bass Coast is a game changer for the whole region and couldn’t have happened without the support of the Australian Government. I would like to especially thank Federal Member for Monash, Russell Broadbent, who played a critical role in achieving the Federal Government’s investment in education in our town. The CUC Bass Coast Board, led by Chair Martin Keogh, has done a tremendous job in setting up the Centre and we wish them all the best going forward.

Thank you to everyone who has attended our community engagement drop-in sessions so far, as part of the development of our Council Plan 2021-25, Long Term Community Vision, 10-year Financial Plan and Health and Wellbeing Plan. There is still a couple of sessions left – at the Grantville Hall on Tuesday, 30 March and at the Inverloch Community Hub Hall on Wednesday, 31 March. The sessions run from 6.30pm to 8.00pm. If you can’t make it to a session in person, consider taking part in our next Facebook Q&A session on Tuesday, 13 April, or fill in our online survey. More details are available at www.basscoast.vic.gov.au/ourfuture.

It’s hard to forget the bushfires that ravaged Victoria, devastating homes, livelihoods and lives in early 2020. It was a firefighting effort that involved many from around the state, including Wonthaggi’s Bill Slade. Bill was on the East Gippsland fire front, when he was tragically killed by a falling tree. A special tribute was held for Bill and his family recently at the Bass Recreation Reserve and it was an honour to attend. On the day, the ‘Bill Slade Bass River Bar’ was officially opened. Bill will always be remembered for his dedication to the community and it was wonderful to see the community come together to create this lasting memorial for Bill.

New Bendigo and Region Gastronomy Guide launches

Source: State of Victoria Local Government

Greater Bendigo City Council Mayor Cr Jennifer Alden will officially launch a new Bendigo and Region Gastronomy Guide this morning to showcase the region’s culture and traditions around food and drink as Australia’s first and only UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy.

The informative and easy to use guide features five categories: eat, drink, buy, experience and explore. The explore section, for example, details trails, itineraries and local produce to suit every taste, budget and timeframe. It is designed for day trips, a long weekend and for stays longer than three days. The experience section has cooking classes, tours and workshops.

Cr Alden said the guide promoted the region’s rich culture and traditions around food and drink, creativity and sustainability.

“Thanks to our UNESCO designation, this guide celebrates our amazing gastronomic city and region, which is beginning to gain significant momentum,” Cr Alden said.

“The online site gives people the opportunity to explore the region’s leading food and drink experiences, custom-build their own trails or explore existing trails, create their own favourites list and share their experiences on social media.

“It is a wonderful showcase of the region that appeals to everyone, including tourists and residents.  

The City of Greater Bendigo in partnership with Bendigo Regional Tourism developed the digital Guide to capture the diversity of businesses within the Bendigo City and Region of Gastronomy.

The City will also launch a Local Producers Directory at the same time. The Directory gives producers in the broader region the opportunity to connect with more customers (businesses and individuals) and create a comprehensive listing of food and drink that is made and grown in the region.

To access the digital Gastronomy Guide, visit https://www.bendigoregion.com.au/explore-bendigo/bendigo-and-region-gastronomy-guide

City launches new publication to create wildlife-friendly gardens

Source: State of Victoria Local Government

ABC TV’s Gardening Australia presenter Jeremy Colby-Williams will launch the City of Greater Bendigo’s new publication, Creating Wildlife Friendly Gardens, at the Sustainable Living Festival tomorrow, Saturday March 27, at the Garden for the Future at White Hills.

The City has developed the new Creating Wildlife Friendly Gardens booklet to help residents design and plant gardens that will benefit local wildlife by providing food and shelter.

The booklet explains simple ways to create a wildlife friendly environment even when outdoor space is limited and includes advice for courtyards and even balconies.

Mayor Cr Jennifer Alden said the book was written with the region’s wonderful natural habitat in mind.

“As a ‘city in a forest’, we are so fortunate to be in the heart of Victorian Box and Ironbark country where our native flora and fauna contribute to Greater Bendigo’s unique character,” Cr Alden said.

“Creating a wildlife friendly garden is something we can all do, no matter how small or large our space is. With the right habitat features, even a courtyard or balcony can provide a home to a beautiful Marbled Gecko or a hungry New Holland Honeyeater.

“This booklet gives practical tips on how our gardens can support wildlife and become a vital refuge, particularly during times of drought.”

Top tips for designing a wildlife friendly garden

  • Layers Aim to create a mix of trees, shrubs of varying height, grasses and groundcovers. Dead trees and rocks, sticks, mulch and leaves on the ground can provide habitat for many local insects and wildlife
  • Diversity A wide variety of indigenous plants helps to provide a range of habitats, shelter and food sources for different wildlife. Aim to achieve a mixture of different plant heights, foliage densities, plant surfaces and a range of species that flower throughout the year
  • Food Plants that produce nectar, pollen, fruit, seeds, leaves and roots provide food for many of our native animals. Insects provide food for birds, lizards, frogs and mammals, which in turn are a food source for reptiles and large, carnivorous birds such as kookaburras, butcherbirds and owls
  • Host plants Some insects, such as butterflies, only lay their eggs on certain plants. If you want butterflies to visit your garden, include host plants such as Wattles (Acacia species) for, Kangaroo Grass (Themeda triandra) or Everlasting Daisies (Xerochrysum species)

Gardening Australia presenter Jeremy Colby-Williams will officially launch the new publication at the Sustainable Living Festival, sponsored by the City. Mr Colby-Williams is an internationally experienced horticultural botanist, conservationist, writer, and Director of Seed Savers Network.

Director Bernie O’Sullivan to depart City for Macedon Ranges Shire CEO role

Source: State of Victoria Local Government

City of Greater Bendigo Director Strategy and Growth Bernie O’Sullivan will depart the organisation to take on the Chief Executive Officer role at Macedon Ranges Shire Council. 

Mr O’Sullivan joined the City in October 2016 to become the organisation’s first Strategy and Growth Director, having previously worked as the Acting CEO of the Institute of Public Administration Australia and as Deputy Secretary at the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (and its predecessors) leading the department’s state-wide regional operations.  

During his time with the City, Mr O’Sullivan’s significant achievements include securing Qantas flights for Bendigo and the region, attraction of major exhibitions to the Bendigo Art Gallery, delivery of new events including White Night, the Lost Trades Fair and inaugural Regional Centre for Culture, securing the relocation of the Arena Theatre Company to Bendigo, activation of our performing arts spaces, outdoor dining and city centre, partnering with leading local businesses and organisations, becoming a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, significant strategic work to position Greater Bendigo for the future and the continued search for industrial land to accommodate future growth.

City CEO Craig Niemann congratulated Mr O’Sullivan on his new role. 

“Bernie has been a great asset for the City and we wish him all the very best as he takes on this new challenge. He is a skilled communicator who will be a great advocate for staff and support for Council. Macedon Ranges can look forward to welcoming a great, people-oriented leader for their organisation and community,” Mr Niemann said. 

“Bernie can be very proud of his time at the City and the way he has led the Strategy and Growth directorate to help enhance the overall liveability of our city in the short and long term, and I am pleased that he will only be down the road so we can continue to work together to deliver positive outcomes for the central Victorian region.”

Mr O’Sullivan said he was looking forward to this next chapter.

“I have greatly enjoyed my time at the City and the chance to work in Local Government with a passionate group of staff and Councillors. Working in this level of government means you can make a big difference in your local community, and it has been a privilege to be a leader in Greater Bendigo during a time of significant growth and change,” he said. 

“Most recently, I have been very proud of the work of the Strategy and Growth directorate to support businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the way staff responded internally as parts of our business, particularly the Art Gallery and Bendigo Venues & Events, were significantly impacted.

“I look forward to taking my learnings at the City and supporting not only the Macedon Ranges community but contributing to the continued growth and development of this great region.” 

Mr O’Sullivan’s last day with the City will be Friday April 23.

City rolls out concrete bollards to support public safety at events

Source: State of Victoria Local Government

The City of Greater Bendigo has successfully secured Victorian Government funding to purchase 180 concrete bollards to be used as hostile vehicle barriers to support public safety at major events.

As part of the initiative, an expression of interest process was run last year inviting local school students and community groups to decorate 70 bollards to make them more visually appealing. 

The following groups were selected and tasked with decorating the bollards, taking their inspiration from Bendigo’s diverse cultural heritage, lifestyle, agricultural and natural beauty:

  • Bendigo South East College/Academy of Creative Arts program
  • Creek Street Christian College
  • Camp Hill Primary School
  • Eaglehawk Secondary College
  • Bendigo Theatre Company
  • Central Victorian Lion Team
  • Dragon City Roller Derby
  • Greater Bendigo District Girl Guides
  • Props Theatre

City Manager Tourism and Major Events Terry Karamaloudis said the bollards would allow more major events to return to the city centre. 

“Outdoor major events have to run in accordance with Victorian and Australian Government event guidelines, which require hostile vehicle barriers to be placed in busy public areas,” Mr Karamaloudis said.

“Last year the Victorian Government made funds available to purchase bollards to be used as a public safety and security measure at major events. We expect they will be particularly helpful as we return to staging public events more often following the COVID-19 pandemic and to support our economic recovery.

“They will support major events such as the Bendigo Easter Festival, and event organisers can enquire with the City about the use of the bollards and if their event requires them. 

“The students and community groups were given creative licence to produce bold and colourful designs on the bollards, which will also provide another vibrant boost to our street art scene.”

The project was funded by a $49,505 grant from the Department of Justice and Community Safety, under its Community Safety Infrastructure Grants program. 

Latrobe funding helps Bass Coast businesses grow

Source: State of Victoria Local Government

The Latrobe Valley Authority’s Business and Industry Capability Fund is now accepting applications, to help local small businesses grow.

In support of this Fund, Bass Coast Shire Council’s Business Support Concierge, Claudia Tivendale, is available to help local businesses determine their eligibility and to make their application.

The Fund is offering grants of up to $5,000 through Stream One, for developing skills and capabilities, including engaging professional services and training. Grants of up to $25,000 will be available through Streams Two, Three and Four, for feasibility studies, infrastructure and equipment upgrades, as well as collaborative business activities where associations or businesses join forces across two local government boundaries.

The Fund is available to small businesses that are less than three years old, with a turnover under $1.5 million. It’s also available to new owners of a small business, if they’ve been running it for less than three years.

Bass Coast Shire Mayor, Cr Brett Tessari, said the Concierge model takes a coordinated approach to help local people access the many government and private sector programs that exist to support businesses.

“Get in touch with Claudia if you are keen to apply for this funding, or to connect with relevant information and services, both locally and across Gippsland,” Cr Tessari said.

If you are interested in expanding and growing your business in Bass Coast, please contact Business Support Concierge Claudia Tivendale on 0435 197 579, 03 5671 2211 or email claudia.tivendale@basscoast.vic.gov.au.

City survey seeks community thoughts on what a circular economy will look like for Greater Bendigo

Source: State of Victoria Local Government

The City of Greater Bendigo is undertaking a range of work to transition to a circular economy and wants to hear the thoughts of members of the community about waste and resource recovery via an online survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CoGB_Circular_Economy.

City of Greater Bendigo Presentation and Assets Director Brian Westley said the City is committed to transitioning to a circular economy in-line with the Victorian Government’s Recycling Victoria Policy.

“A transition to the circular economy means changing how we as individuals, businesses, local government and society think about the materials and products we buy, use and consume and eventually throw away,” Mr Westley said.

“It’s about moving away from taking resources out of the ground, making them into products for use and then discarding them into landfill or low-value recycling.  This is important because there will be no “away” locations for these materials and products to go to in the future. Real change will begin with waste avoidance in the first place.

“We are asking the community to let us know their thoughts about this by completing an online survey where they can share any challenges they face, the work they are already doing to reduce waste, and any other opportunities or ideas they may have.

“The City is already using old tyres, plastics and glass in road and footpath and other projects which is a great way to recycle these resources. In addition, there are companies doing brilliant things like turning recycled plastics into things like outdoor furniture.

“We know the community has great ideas and we want to find out what they think as the results of the survey will help the City to develop the actions needed to support the community to reduce waste and manage resources in the future.

“It’s well documented that the Eaglehawk Landfill will reach its capacity in the next couple of years and the City is working towards how the site will operate in the future perhaps as a transfer/sorting station.

“The closure of the landfill will have an impact and the City is proactively taking steps to manage this important challenge by introducing additional recycling bins in public spaces and expanding our organics collections to assist local residents and businesses to send less waste to landfill.

“We are also developing a Circular Economy and Zero Waste Policy which will detail the City’s intent for a circular economy and zero waste within the region, guide future activities and measure progress towards our goals.

“Through this work the City is engaging with residents, community groups, service providers, businesses and other key stakeholders across Greater Bendigo who will be impacted by the closure of the landfill. 

“The City recently received over 40 expressions of interest from service providers who are keen to develop circular economy solutions for a post-landfill region. This is about looking at waste as a resource and how this resource can be used in the future.”

Community members are encouraged to take a few minutes to complete the survey which is open until Friday April 30, 2021 and can be found at

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CoGB_Circular_Economy 

In addition, City staff will also attend local shopping centres and other public spaces while the survey is open to encourage residents to complete the survey.  Everyone who completes the survey will have an opportunity to enter a draw to win an eco-friendly prize pack valued at $320.

Sowing the Seeds to Success – a free community garden event to break down the barriers to the veggie garden

Source: State of Victoria Local Government

Kalianna School Bendigo, Healthy Greater Bendigo and the City of Greater Bendigo are holding a free Sowing the Seeds to Success community garden event at 9.30am on Wednesday March 24 at PepperGreen Farm to inspire other organisations to get into community gardening.

The Sowing the Seeds to Success event will be attended by early years, primary and secondary school teachers, staff from local neighbourhood houses, volunteers and other community groups and organisations involved or interested in community gardens.

Kalianna School is a successful operator of a community garden and will provide and share information to inspire other local community groups and organisations to become involved in the local food system by cultivating a veggie garden and creating conversations and awareness around food security in Bendigo.

A panel of local community garden experts will spend the morning learning, sharing and connecting over community gardening. The possibilities of community gardens will be discussed for a range of different settings including schools, churches and public settings.

This is a practical event that will provide opportunities for attendees to ask questions and get answers from local people who are operating successful community gardens. Attendees will also have an opportunity to network with others who can support the establishment and maintenance of future community gardens.

The Greater Bendigo Community Garden Network will be launched. Participants will also support the co-design of a well-being ambassador program, celebrating the efforts of leaders across the community as champions of health and wellbeing. The event is a key part of Healthy Greater Bendigo’s, Health is Everyone’s Business project funded by Vichealth.

The Sowing the Seeds to Success community garden event will be followed by an opportunity to tour some of Bendigo’s best community gardens in the afternoon.

What I did last week marks one year with new volumes released

Source: State of Victoria Local Government

A successful community arts initiative, What I did Last Week, which started at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia, is celebrating one year with the release of volumes three, four and five capturing works from local artists. 

 The City of Greater Bendigo’s unique arts program was developed to create an online exhibition as a way of sharing work and encouraging artmaking for both professional and amateur artists.  

What I Did Last Week began on March 23, 2020 when artists were invited to submit one image that would represent what they had been doing in lockdown the previous week.  

Works shown in the online gallery, and now in the books, reflect the creative community’s responses to life in the pandemic: mask wearing, online gatherings, images of viruses, interiors, pets and reproductions of family holiday photos were depicted in the earlier works.

When restrictions eased, landscapes and images of plants and nature became more common themes. 

Contributing artists covered a range of media, including traditional visual art forms: drawing, painting, and photography, as well as sculpture, craftwork, poetry, and music.  

City of Greater Bendigo Mayor Cr Jennifer Alden said What I Did Last Week was initially designed to support wellbeing through the arts.  

“Participants told us how important it was for them to create and share their works during a very difficult time in their lives, Cr Alden said.

“It also gave the community the opportunity to experience the insights of an extraordinary online exhibition while they remained at home too. 

“These five books and the online exhibition are now a legacy document of a critical time and place in Bendigo’s history. 

“Congratulations to the 175 artists who exhibited 780 works over the course of 32 weeks and to the team who helped coordinate the online exhibition and the development of the beautiful books.” 

Each volume has eight weeks of work with volumes three and four covering July 14 to November 6. The fifth volume is a final gallery and contributors were asked to select one image to sum up their experience of lockdown and participation in What I Did Last Week

Two local designers were involved in creating the five books and the online gallery. All five eBooks are permanently accessible via the Bendigo Venues and Events website – https://www.bendigoregion.com.au/arts-culture-theatres/what-i-did-last-week-online-exhibition