Recently Ellie, Jemma and Emalee went to Canterbury Park to talk with Cr James Williams. They talked with him about how Eaglehawk is changing so much and discussed what there was to look forward to…
There are so many things happening in Eaglehawk just some of these are: the new playground being built, this playground costs $1.3 million ($800, 000 of it has been fundraised by local groups). This playground will take about 6 months to build which means it will be ready by mid-August. Another thing happening is the football ground shelters are being upgraded and money for landscaping around the park has been raised, The money for these two upgrades is a sum of $5 million. There are also plans to renovate the Peter Krenz Leisure Centre Pool & this may include adding cafes and moving the Eaglehawk library from where it is now to the upgraded facility.
Marong Business Park development is still going ahead despite the controversy around the recent council decision. Bendigo businesses like the local milk factory export long life milk to Asia and we need the best ways to transport all the products going overseas. The Marong Park will be an enabler for value adding to our local business. Grains and animal industries are the big businesses in our area. Like Australian Breeders which is a large local business and their eggs are used to grow the flu vaccine. “We have amazing industries in Bendigo but as they grow we have to look at how to move their products. We don’t want trucks in the centre of town, “ said James.
Most of the farmers around Bendigo grow grain and breed sheeop for wool. If we make wool, we need to be able to sell it to a bigger industry and they make it into clothes such as beanies, gloves and scarfs. We grow the grain, to then sell it to another larger industry and they process it and make it into cereal or bread. Food these days is one of the biggest demands in the world. The country that we mainly sell our products to is China (South Asia) and it has to go via Melbourne (ports).
James shared an interesting fact that the biggest part of Counicl’s bidget each year is called renewal and relates to all the cleaning and maintenance of facilities.
Energy Crisis & Recycling Problem – we’ve got both
Waste, What is it? Waste is something that no longer has any use, but most of the items that we throw away are not waste and can be recycled. We also have an energy crisis, we are using too much energy. In Eaglehawk waste (tip) fees have gone up by $11 and only some of Eaglehawk houses and businesses use solar panels, but not enough. Even though we are one of the best solar cities in Victoria we are still struggling to not pollute the city. China is no longer taking Australia’s (contaminated) waste. The only way to stop the amount of polluting and waste that is being made is to start sorting our waste correctly and we need to encourage others to use solar panels. Coucnil continues to work with the State government to work out how to combat the huge issues around waste and energy. (The Eaglehawk tip only has 4-5 years left before it needs to shutdown). “We have to get smarter about how we do things,” said James.
Council to sell Eaglehawk home
There is an old house in Napier Street, Eaglehawk that council own and they are going to sell. Many people wanted to knock it down and extend the carpark opposite Eaglehawk IGA but council has decided that the money will be better used (after sale) to upgrade carpark (widen laneway and new walk way) and put funds towards other projects in Eaglehawk. James told us that it has been proven that it is 15 degrees warmer in a carpark on a hotday than under the shade of a tree so that’s why he’s not keen to have more ashphalt in Eaglehawk’s busy street. Council hopes that someone will buy the house and renovate it for a business.
Eaglehawk train station upgrades are in planning stages (while Bendigo station gets its renovations now). There are many ideas on the ways we could upgrade them and many of them look quite interesting. This is obviously going to be very interesting with the design they choose. (Train from Eaglehawk to Bendigo is quicker than any other transportation).
Future projects also include – Dog park at Truscott Reserve (and new toilets too).
Why Do They Want to Expand Eaglehawk?
Eaglehawk is quite a large place and we have so much room to grow and thrive. We have so much land and bush to expand onto that we have no idea what to do with it. The council has decided that they want to use as much land as they can. However, we (the students chatting to James) all said, “isn’t the best thing about Eaglehawk that it is not too crowded?”
James agreed and explained all the benefits of expanding Eaglehawk and he won the students over! (Like house blocks getting smaller and public land for recreation needing to be available).
Fun fact: As James mentioned flu vaccines can be grown in eggs! So your 2018 flu shot (or at least the vaccine inside it) may have been grown in an egg laid right here in Bendigo!