Council seeks federal support for planned dementia village

By The McIvor Times

THE proposed Heathcote Dementia Village was one of the main topics raised when City of Greater Bendigo Mayor Margaret O’Rourke and chief executive Craig Niemann travelled to Canberra on the weekend to participate in the National General Assembly of Local Government.

The pair sought federal government support for key projects in the lead up to next year’s election and also put forward the importance of a long term waste management solution for Greater Bendigo and the wider Loddon Mallee region.

Cr O’Rourke said they held productive meetings.

“It was 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 was good to gauge the federal government’s commitment to funding these initiatives.

“General discussions regarding our investment prospectus focused 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 also spoke about 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.

“It was 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.”