Cr Jennifer Alden will serve as Mayor and Cr Andrea Metcalf will serve as Deputy Mayor in the first year of the City of Greater Bendigo 2020-2024 Council term.
This is Cr Alden’s first time stepping into the Mayoral robes and her second term on Council.
Over the coming year, the Mayor-elect and Lockwood Ward Councillor will focus on building a resilient future for our city and region.
Cr Alden said she was honoured to have the opportunity to lead the new Council.
“It is a privilege to be elected by the community to become a Councillor and equally humbling to then have the support of my fellow Councillors to serve as Mayor. I look forward to us working together to provide the best possible quality of life to our residents,” she said.
“We have some challenges and opportunities ahead, particularly driving social and economic recovery from COVID-19, managing the ongoing impacts of climate change and biodiversity breakdown, supporting a growing manufacturing sector, the development of clean jobs and identifying pathways to employment for young people, particularly through the tourism and hospitality sectors as a result of Bendigo and the region becoming a City of Gastronomy.
“I am also interested in the latest announcements around the Victorian Government’s investment in social housing, which includes a minimum of $85M for Greater Bendigo, and how this can help improve living standards locally. The City is currently working on an Affordable Housing Action Plan, so there is a great opportunity to build on this announcement and advocate for strong social, economic and environmental outcomes for our community as this new housing is built.
“In this first year Council will set a new Council Plan and Vision, new Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan, and publish a 10-year financial plan. This work must be guided by the need to improve on poor local physical and mental health indicators, food insecurity and poverty, and commitment to preserving our environment.
“I welcome hearing from and meeting with residents, and achieving great outcomes for our community together. Ward Councillors are in the process of planning how they will engage with their communities and I welcome resident feedback coming to the Council table, so as we can focus on making decisions in the best interest of everyone.”
Deputy Mayor-elect Cr Metcalf shared Cr Alden’s priority of connecting with the community and responding to the impact of COVID-19.
“Work is about to commence on the 2021/2022 budget, which will be critical to further supporting Greater Bendigo’s recovery from the pandemic. As a community we have done a wonderful job of abiding by the restrictions of the day but as we start to safely re-open we need to ensure there is continued support for businesses to remain open,” Cr Metcalf said.
“Other areas of interest include finding a sustainable waste management solution, continued support for our rural communities and planning for population growth.”
Mayor-elect Cr Alden and Deputy Mayor-elect Cr Metcalf will be installed in their new roles at a ceremony tomorrow night, Thursday November 19, at 7.30pm. Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, the ceremony will be livestreamed via the City’s website at www.bendigo.vic.gov.au.councilmeeting