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Community invited to participate in the development of a regional economic strategy where people can thrive

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The City of Greater Bendigo has joined forces with the leaders of eight key organisations from the region to prepare a new bold Economic Development Strategy Discussion Paper, which endeavours to shape an inclusive, sustainable community so that everyone can thrive and participate in a liveable community.

Mayor Margaret O’Rourke, Chair of the Greater Bendigo Economic Strategy Steering Committee, said that the Discussion Paper was deliberately ambitious in its approach with bold ideas, goals and targets.

“This is about shaping an inclusive community, building more sustainable jobs whilst improving the health and wellbeing, education and the environment so that everyone can thrive in a great liveable community and have the opportunities they need to participate and prosper in the current and future economy,” Cr O’Rourke said.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the members of the Greater Bendigo Economic Strategy Steering Committee who have participated in the development of this Discussion Paper. They have recognised the many challenges and disadvantages within our community and suggested ways to tackle improving the living standards for everyone.

“We want all adults to have the opportunities to develop to their full potential, for children to stay in school longer and for our youth and unskilled workers to have clearer career pathways and training.

“This is ultimately a community strategy and we very much welcome residents to get involved in the discussion and to debate the ideas and concepts put forward in this paper. We envisage partnerships with the community, the private sector, and State and Federal Governments to deliver on agreed priorities for a more inclusive and sustainable Bendigo.”

CEO, Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation Rodney Carter said the Discussion Paper and Summary were compassionate documents.

“Core themes are that there are many people who have been left at a disadvantage in areas such as health, housing, employment and many of our other fundamental needs,” Mr Carter said.

“We have a long way to go to build our capacity so that everyone can participate fully in the social and economic fabric of the community.

“For Dja Dja Wurrung people and our whole Greater Bendigo community to achieve our goals of self-determination and improved community wellbeing, we need to develop a sustainable economic base. If we have a strong and diverse economic base, we build opportunities for all and we provide for our health and wellbeing, and we strengthen our living culture for all.”

Managing Director, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Marnie Baker said she anticipated the publication of the Discussion and Summary Papers would help spark public debate and discussion around the future direction and development of the Greater Bendigo region.  

“At Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, we firmly believe the whole country can enjoy the benefits of prosperity, not just a handful of regions. However, a rising tide does not necessarily lift all boats – it needs the right strategy and collective effort,” Ms Baker said.  

“The path to achieving this goal will require collaboration and to further this, I urge everyone to take the time to review this discussion paper and contribute. It’s an exciting time to be a rural and regional Australian, and we all have an important role to play in shaping what happens next. The efforts we make to contribute to the development of this new economic strategy will help create a more inclusive, sustainable Bendigo and strengthen and improve our community, for decades to come.”

The Discussion Paper proposes to uplift Greater Bendigo performance to levels equivalent to state and national averages in the following indicators:

  • Year 12 or equivalent educational attainment rate
  • Per capita gross regional product
  • Comprehensively reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to deliver a net zero carbon city by 2036 or earlier

It is proposed that the Greater Bendigo Economic Development Strategy will be released, following feedback and adoption by the steering committee and the City in 2020.

The strategy’s vision for 2030 is to “shape an inclusive, sustainable community where people thrive’. The delivery of the vision comprises of two key stages: the next five years and the subsequent five years to 2030.

The Greater Bendigo Economic Development Strategy Discussion Paper is available for public discussion and comment at until Monday August 26, 2019. For submissions on the Discussion Paper or to be kept informed about this project, please email [email protected]

Members of the Greater Bendigo Economic Strategy Steering Committee

-           Mayor Cr Margaret O’Rourke - (Chair)

-           Managing Director Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Marnie Baker

-           CEO Be.Bendigo Dennis Bice

-           CEO Dja Dja Wurrung Aboriginal Clans Corporation Rodney Carter

-           CEO Bendigo Health Peter Faulkner  

-           Mayor Youth Council Khayshie Tilak Ramesh         

-           Former Chair Loddon Campaspe Partnership Nigel McGuckian

-           CEO City of Greater Bendigo Craig Niemann

-           Interim Managing Director Coliban Water Neville Pearce

-           Chairperson Bendigo Education Council Darren McGregor



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