As part of our regular catch up with James Williams we recently were lucky enough to get a personalised tour of the newly upgraded Bendigo Stadium.

Nathen O’Neill, Chief Executive Office of BSL showed us around the new facilities to help us understand all the exciting things that are happening there.

We saw the Bendigo Spirit team training on the new show courts. We saw how even the ‘worse seats in the house’ are actually really good in the   new seating set up. The new grandstands can be remote control operated to assemble in only 3 minutes and they are so big they cover an entire court.

We got a special sneak peek at the VIP area.

The canteen was closed when we were there but it is much larger and offers more choice now than previously.

The new stadium will allow for big events to be held there, like 2018 ITTF World Junior Table Tennis Championships and some have already happened like – Lee Kernagahan concert hosting 1500 people.

Volleyball, netball and of course basketball are played there every day by local community groups and children.

Nathen also said any member of the public can train on a court if it is free because it is a community facility and all are welcome.

Whipstick Ward Update

Marong Business Park – The council have to reset their agenda for the business park, it will take 12 months and they will see if it’s still appropriate to go out in Marong and what it will take to have a successful business park in Bendigo. Council had many reasons to choose to put it out at Marong such as the heavy truck route being there and excess power but now they will re-evaluate their plan.
Train station upgrades – Bendigo is getting a lift and bridge so that the station is accessible to all travellers. Eaglehawk train station upgrade will happen in the New Year. There is a promise of a new stations at Huntly, Goornong and Raywood. More public transport located in suitable areas helps the community move around to access all services, like the hospital, leisure facilities etc.

Truscott Reserve – the toilets will be demolished in the future and upgrades will be made.
Waste management – James believes that we need a regional waste sorting station; where all the waste comes to and we sort through it and make product lines for it to be reused/added to, to create new products. A small amount of waste will still exist that will need a tip to store it and Council is working with the region’s industry and State Government to find a regional solution to our waste problems.

We also met with new Whipstick Ward, Councillor Malcolm Pethybridge:

Why does Malcolm want to work as a council rep?
He has lived in Bendigo for 40 years, his kids have grown up in Bendigo and have also had kids so he is now a grandparent. He didn’t have trouble getting a job, however jobs are much harder to come by at present so he wants to get industry back so people have more jobs like his grandkids.

What does he want to change most? How does he want to make Eaglehawk better?
He wants to make Bendigo look better, bring more money into Bendigo through business, tourism, support farmers and smaller towns in Whipstick Ward and to try and get Bendigo to move ahead and not stay same or get worse. Over time more people will come to Bendigo, so he wants to help all these new residents of Bendigo have jobs and a place to live as well as contributing to the community.

What needs to change and be improved in Bendigo and Eaglehawk?
There needs to be more industry and businesses that can thrive in Bendigo. Bendigo was built on gold, so we need to mine the rest of gold (there is a lot more gold in Bendigo that hasn’t been dug up) that is in Bendigo.


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