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Investing in priorities

The City of Greater Bendigo’s Budget 2023/2024 is a community-focused Budget. Its priorities will enhance day to day living . The budget invests in high value projects with long term benefits for a growing community.

The Budget supports:

  • The City’s Community Vision and Council Plan (Mir wimbul) 2021-2025
  • Climate Change and Environment Strategy 2021-2026
  • Healthy Greater Bendigo 2021-2025
  • Other key strategies

The City received a record number of priorities from the community during the early public engagement. These helped guide Councillors. Creating healthy, liveable places and spaces was the number one priority from public consultation. It is a key theme in the Council Plan.

There is an important change in the Budget process compared to previous years. Council is not releasing a draft Budget at the end of the process. Instead, community engagement was sought earlier to enable Councillors to identify important themes and make informed decisions.

The Budget works within the 3.5 per cent rate cap for 2023/2024. More than 60 per cent of our Budget revenue comes from rates. The gap between capped revenue and expenditure is widening due to rising costs. This limits available funds for new projects and initiatives. Construction and other costs have increased faster than the rate cap.

This Budget addresses a challenging revenue scenario by continuing to fund existing services, increasing certain fees, and prioritising works and services in a responsible manner. Find more information on the rate cap on the Essential Services Commission website.

Budget highlights

  • The City will invest $2.09M
  • Stage one of the Ironbark Gully Trail between Nolan Street and Holmes Road
  • New Bendigo Low Line separated walking/cycling network between Golden Square and Lake Weeroona
  • Delivery of an underpass at Emu Creek in Strathfieldsaye (over two Budgets)
  • Work begins on multi-year Strathfieldsaye Town Square project and shared path between Wellesley Street and Apsley Lane, as part of implementing the Strathfieldsaye Town Centre Urban Framework
  • Design shared paths for Rennie Street and Gungurru Street, Huntly
  • Construction of new concrete footpaths in various priority locations throughout the municipality
  • Commence multi-year upgrade of the Midland Highway/Waratah Road with traffic signals
  • Commence detailed design for a Bendigo Creek Levee from Racecourse Creek at Midland Highway to Leans Road in Huntly (including a shared path).
  • Project to rehabilitate Bendigo Creek near Weeroona Avenue in White Hills
  • Progress development of a Stormwater Management Strategy
  • Stage two investment for Kennington dam works
  • Subject to external funding, stage one for a new Marong kindergarten is earmarked as part of a multi-year investment for a community township hub
  • Subject to external funding, design plans are earmarked to extend Spring Gully Kindergarten
  • Funding to address non-compliant disabled car parking, pedestrian crossings and footpaths
  • Undertake design for the redevelopment of the Bendigo Library loading bay to accommodate increased work flow in the area
  • Establish a secure annual grants program for Neighbourhood Houses to provide valuable support to local communities
  • Cooinda Park Public Toilet renewal to improve accessibility
  • Playspace renewals at Prouses Road in North Bendigo, Akoonah Drive in Golden Square and Melbury Court in Epsom
  • Implement wayfinding technology to assist drivers with locating vacant parking bays in the city centre
  • Implementation of software to improve the City’s overall cyber security
  • Deliver a new user-friendly City website and develop a customer portal for improved customer experience
  • Implement a Sustainable Land Management Program which will deliver education and engagement activities. Small grants will be available for rural landowners for works on the land that achieve positive environmental outcomes
  • Finalise a Biodiversity Strategy
  • Establish a biodiversity community engagement program and provide support to Landcare groups
  • A contribution to a local carbon offset pilot program
  • Electrification projects including replacing gas appliances at 20 small community facilities
  • Finalise a Zero Emissions Roadmap for the City and broader region
  • Develop the detailed design for the electrification of Bendigo Library, the City’s fourth largest gas user
  • Implement year 2 of the in-stream work in Bendigo Creek
  • Redevelopment of the Municipal Baths in line with the Rosalind Park Recreation Reserve Precinct Masterplan
  • Final staged funding ($3.5M) for the shared Mercy Junortoun Sporting Precinct, which is close to completion
  • Complete the concept design for the Quarry Hill Recreation Reserve pavilion (Ken Wust)
  • Improve accessibility at Red Energy Arena (Bendigo Stadium) to courts 9 and 10, upgrades to Sky Lounge
  • Multi-year funding continues at Strathfieldsaye Club Court to improve facilities
  • Tom Flood Sport Centre fencing, gates and lighting
  • Maiden Gully Recreation Reserve Tennis Pavilion, shelter, storage and toilet works, tennis lighting and hard surface renewal
  • Bendigo Tennis Centre lighting renewal
  • Elmore Community Hub kitchen cabinetry upgrade and floor covering
  • A Changing Places facility on Heathcote’s High Street (close to the public toilets) designed for accessibility
  • Maiden Gully Public Hall renewal with re-rendering and mudbrick wall painting
  • Lockwood South Public Hall external painting completion project
  • Marong Historic Council Chamber interior project begins
  • Axedale Kindergarten and Public Hall scope and design the amenities upgrade and car park improvements
  • Eaglehawk Town Hall renewal
  • Huntly Shire Office renewal
  • Kamarooka Hall Renewal
  • Complete stage one of the Bendigo Airport redevelopment, including an upgraded terminal building
  • Support the Victorian Planning Authority to prepare a masterplan for the Bendigo Regional Employment Precinct (Marong)
  • Complete the expansion of the Bendigo Tramways workshop to increase workshop capacity
  • Partner with local jobs facilitators to hold a Jobs Fair in September 2023 focused on opportunities for school leavers

The City is proud to support major events, sponsor community activities and create activations that encourage visitors and residents to spend longer in the city centre shopping, dining, or booking accommodation. New funding initiatives have been added to further enhance the City’s reputation as a leading regional arts and cultural centre.

  • A showcase event to celebrate Bendigo’s designation as a City and region of Gastronomy
  • Deliver the Victorian Government funded Young Minds Program providing gallery based learning opportunities for high ability regional students enrolled in public schools
  • Continue to attract event opportunities at the region’s state of the art sporting facilities, including events and tournaments in the lead up to the 2026 Victoria Commonwealth Games
  • Support the new Visitor Economy Partnership to develop and implement the new Destination Management Plan for the City and neighbouring regions

The Budget is funding $68M on capital works. This includes $36M on renewals supporting important infrastructure for the community and maintaining assets such as the Goldfields Libraries, Golden Dragon Museum, community buildings, recreational facilities, Bendigo Town Hall and other important heritage buildings:

  • $10M for sealed roads
  • $3.9M for unsealed roads
  • $2.6M for drainage works
  • $2.1M for works on footpaths and shared paths
  • $6.9M for buildings

*Blackspot funding is being sought to enhance road safety at the following:

  • Crusoe Road, Lockwood
  • Sedgwick Road, Mandurang South
  • Diamond Hill Road, Mandurang
  • Epsom-Barnadown Road

*subject to funding

Residents will see a small rise in the general waste charge to cover increased costs of this service. The City does not make a profit from waste services.

These charges only recoup the costs involved in providing waste management services. The general waste bin charges will increase by eight per cent and the recycle and organics bin charges will increase by five per cent. For a property with a 140L bins in an organics area, this will equate to an extra $27 per property in the next financial year.

Parking fees will see a small increase which will be reinvested in improving parking technology. This Budget includes investing in wayfinding technology that will assist drivers to locate vacant parking bays in the city centre.

The hourly parking fee will increase from $1.90 to $2.10. The daily rate will change from $6.70 to $7.20.

For a full list of fees and charges, visit:

The Budget has a $168M operating Budget which delivers 69 important services for the community including waste collection, maintenance of parks, gardens and recreation facilities, early years’ services, maternal and child health, waste collection, street cleaning, parks and gardens, library services, recreational facilities, environmental health, statutory planning, tourism, Ulumbarra, The Capital and Bendigo Art Gallery and much more.

The Victorian Fair Go Rates System sets out the maximum amount councils may increase rates in a year without an application for a variation. The budget has been developed in line with the Victorian Government’s rate cap of 3.5 per cent for the next financial year. The cap applies to general rates and is calculated based on Council’s average rates and charges. As with previous years, the Council has not applied for a variation to the rate cap and will seek to absorb the extra costs through efficiencies.



A new Local Government Act came into effect in 2020. The new Act no longer requires a draft Budget to be on public exhibition for 28 days. This means you get to have a say earlier in the process, before we draft the budget. In line with the Act, Council does not intend to display a draft 2023/2024 Budget.

We will still keep you updated about what you said and what is in the budget, as we have in previous years.

As part of these changes, the City plans to submit the draft Budget for adoption at the Council meeting in May 2023. This will be a month earlier than in previous years.

Now is your chance to have your say on priorities for the 2023/2024 Budget.

We will collate and review all your input. We will then present it to Council. They consider this information and the priorities in the Council and Financial Plans.

The Budget will be drafted for adoption at the Council meeting in May 2023.

In line with the Act, Council is not required to place the draft Budget on public exhibition for 28 days.

We received positive feedback on asking for input early in the 2022/2023 Budget process. People appreciated the chance to give their priorities before we developed the Budget.

City officers and Councillors collated and reviewed all priorities and themes received in November 2022. This included considering the Council Plan and the Financial Plan. Early engagement meant Councillors could identify important themes and make informed decisions.

Having the Budget ready early for the next financial year means we can start preparing early. We will know about funding for projects, works and initiatives needed from July 1, 2023.

Have your say all year round

We want to hear about matters that concern you all year round. It helps us make decisions.


Phone: 1300 002 642

National Relay Service: 133 677 (then quote 1300 002 642)