Council has adopted a new Asset Plan which provides a strategic framework for managing Council-owned assets in the community now and into the future.
Mayor Cr Andrea Metcalf said the Local Government Act required all Victorian Councils to develop an Asset Plan with an outlook of at least 10 years therefore community input was an important part of the process.
“I wish to thank community members who completed the survey and provided feedback on the draft plan in March and April,” Cr Metcalf said.
The adopted Asset Plan provides a 10-year strategic framework to guide how to manage $1.99B worth of fixed infrastructure that is Council-owned. These assets also support 69 services the City of Greater Bendigo provides to the community.
What assets are being considered?
The Asset Plan is looking at the $1.99B worth of fixed infrastructure that is owned or controlled by the City of Greater Bendigo. The Plan guides the management of eight asset groups:
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Frequently asked questions
All Victorian Local Governments are required to develop an Asset Plan by June 2022 with at least a 10-year outlook. The Asset Plan is part of a suite of strategic plans that must be developed under the Local Government Act 2020.
Striking a good balance between the costs of assets and the provision of community services can be complex. The City regularly evaluates its long-term ability to finance the maintenance and renewal of existing assets whist still planning for future changes and growth. This Draft Asset Plan will guide planning and decisions so that assets continue to serve community needs. It will help to ensure that in the face of the changing climate, a growing population, increasing constructions costs and changing regulatory environment that Greater Bendigo will continue to be a welcoming, sustainable and prosperous community well into the future. An Asset Plan 2022-2023 will guide planning and decisions so that assets continue to serve community needs.
Like many other Local Governments in Victoria, the City faces several challenges in managing a growing number of assets when there is less funding available from income streams such as annual rates.
Funding must cover ongoing asset maintenance, renewal and growth and be accumulated for multi-year investment projects. There is a growing gap between the demand for renewing assets and the ability to fund those projects.
The City aims to ensure that infrastructure assets deliver the required level of service to the community in the most effective way.
The City is therefore responsible for planning and for making decisions about assets throughout their lifecycle. Not all assets will go through all stages of the lifecycle. Some will be renewed but not upgraded, some will never be decommissioned.
Together, these drivers make asset management decisions complex, requiring long term planning, compromise and community-wide deliberation.
The Draft Asset Plan 2022 - 2032 has forecast that a gap between renewal required and the City's ability to fund these projects will increase over time, though more slowly after four years. This is somewhat due to upgrades being required during renewal activities to meet regulatory standards, community needs and service expectations.
With a large and growing number of assets in Greater Bendigo and less funding available from income streams, this gap means the City will need to advocate for funding from other sources, ensure asset management activities are as efficient as possible and consider some difficult decision-making in the near future.
With constrained income, growing construction costs and an ongoing demand for services, the gap is estimated to grow to around $70M by 2031/2032. This figure represents approximately two years renewal expenditure at current levels. As the City's assets have a long life expectancy, the community may notice a slow decrease in asset condition over time if the gap is not addressed.
This plan will provide a strategic approach to ways in which the City can minimise the gap in future years, while delivering services in line with the Council Plan and other key strategies including the Climate Change and Environment Policy and Healthy Greater Bendigo.
Here are examples of assets that play an important role each day in enabling the delivery of services.
- An aquatic centre’s water services provide the community with a variety of recreational activities such as exercise, swimming lessons and water play
- A library is an asset that provides community services offering meeting and learning spaces, housing a diverse range of books and audio-visual resources
- A large culvert under a road and swale drain through a parkland provide important drainage services, including drainage of stormwater away from residential and commercial property