The Liberal Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell used the final sitting week of State Parliament for 2020 to raise several Bendigo-focussed issues with the Andrews Labor Government.
While advocating for funding for three important Bendigo infrastructure projects that were not included in the recent State Budget, Ms Lovell also urged the government to take immediate action to reduce fuel loads in Streamside Reserve.
In a constituency question to the Environment Minister, Ms Lovell said there had been genuine concern in the community regarding fuel loads in the reserve after a serious fire earlier in the year. A constituent recently contacted Ms Lovell to inform her the grass in the reserve was over six feet high and Ms Lovell called on the Minister to direct Parks Victoria to reduce fuel loads in the reserve.
Ms Lovell also advocated for the State Government to allocate funding to support three important City of Greater Bendigo projects. Stages 1 & 2 of the Bendigo Showgrounds Masterplan would deliver a complete upgrade of the existing market sheds and the construction of a new multipurpose market pavilion, covered market stall spaces, new toilet amenities and landscaping around the new pavilion. The estimated cost of both stages is $5.25 million and the City of Greater Bendigo is seeking a State Government contribution of $2.5 million towards the works.
Ms Lovell said Council’s plan to develop the Greater Bendigo Community Food Hub will deliver a new home for Bendigo Foodshare, which has outgrown its present facility, and provide a new space for the Bendigo Community Farmers Market. In her contribution, Ms Lovell sought a funding commitment of $5.38 million for the project.
To reduce the City’s energy costs and carbon footprint, Ms Lovell raised Council’s plan to install a 400kW Solar PV and battery system at the Bendigo Stadium. Ms Lovell said the stadium was a world-class sport and entertainment facility that hosted around 12,000 visitors each week. The installation has been costed at $1.135 million and Ms Lovell sought funding of $835,000 from the Minister for the project.
Comments attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell:
“Both the Bendigo Showgrounds redevelopment and the Community Food Hub projects will create local jobs and with the increased visitors to Bendigo for events, stimulate the Bendigo economy. The Food Hub will also provide a badly needed new home for Bendigo Foodshare.
“The solar and battery project is good for the environment and will dramatically reduce energy costs at the Bendigo Stadium.
“In regard to Streamside Reserve, after the serious fire earlier in the year, Parks Victoria need to take action now to reduce the fuel load in the reserve.”
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