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Council adopts new Economic Development Strategy

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The City of Greater Bendigo’s new Economic Development Strategy, ‘A Stronger Greater Bendigo 2030 - where all people can thrive’ was formally adopted by Council last night.

The strategy was started in late 2018 and has been led by a steering committee chaired by the Mayor and comprising CEOs, Chairs and key members from the City of Greater Bendigo, Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Loddon–Campaspe Regional Partnership, Bendigo Health, Bendigo Education Council, Greater Bendigo Youth Council, Coliban Water and Be.Bendigo.

The strategy’s vision is to ‘shape an inclusive, sustainable and prosperous community where all people can thrive’ and ensure that everyone living in Greater Bendigo can participate in a great and liveable community.

The strategy targets better and more sustainable businesses and jobs, improved health and wellbeing, strengthened skills and education levels and actions that improve the environment and tackle climate change.

The strategy sets out 14 actions that need to be taken with a number prioritised based on current and planned developments, growth pressures, impacts of the pandemic - new challenges and opportunities, including:

  1. Transform and revitalise our city centre - Mayor leads a working party to coordinate existing/planned projects, build on public and private investment, plan for new roles and opportunities
  2. Capitalise on our new gold rush – Collaborate with state agencies to manage and capitalise on jobs and investment, coordinate and deliver infrastructure needed to support services, jobs and communities
  3. Unlock land and build new key infrastructure to support major growth and investment – Collaboratively prepare a Managed Growth Strategy to unlock land, plan urban land use, build new infrastructure including transport, support jobs and deliver enhanced liveability for a city of 200,000
  4. Target investment in services, facilities and programs to communities most in need – stronger advocacy on a range of investment that is directed towards people and communities in need
  5. Invest in building our higher education and skills training offerings and the transition pathways between them – significantly expand our training and higher education profile and student numbers, better link training and higher education programs and pathways to future workforce needs

Mayor Cr Margaret O’Rourke said the strategy built on Greater Bendigo’s existing strengths.

“Greater Bendigo is travelling well compared with many other regional centres, with sustained population growth, consistent job growth and rising GDP, as well as a growing visitor economy,” Cr O’Rourke said.

“But a business as usual approach which has served us well in many aspects of the city’s growth and development over the last 30 or so years, will not deliver for the future. We need to change our approach, to respond to new and rapidly changing circumstances.

“The strategy doesn’t shirk the unprecedented global impact of COVID-19 on households, communities and businesses in Greater Bendigo and across the world. The need for this strategy is even greater now.

“This strategy will guide us as we transition our economy to create a more inclusive and lower impact future.”

You can find the strategy at www.bendigo.vic.gov.au/economic.

Additional quotes

Bendigo Bank Managing Director Marnie Baker

“We know that Greater Bendigo is a great place to live and work, however we also know there is much to do to achieve the aspiration of being ‘the world’s most liveable community”. This strategy will help address the gaps and the action needed to get there.  It takes a people-centric approach to realising this ambition for our region, achieved sustainably and inclusively, and shared by all.”

Coliban Water Managing Director Damian Wells

“Coliban Water looks forward to continuing to collaborate with the Bendigo community and surrounds to provide water services that underpin liveability for our fantastic region as our population and economy continues to prosper.”

Ryan Peterson, Youth Council Mayor 

“Bendigo is a city in transition. This strategy provides the City of Greater Bendigo with a clear framework to become a powerful regional centre in the coming years and helps to create better connections to the surrounding regional towns. The Youth Council is grateful to have had the chance to consult with the Steering Committee in the formation of this strategy, as it’s of the utmost importance that young people are given a say in the future of their city.”

 

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