Statement regarding Minister's decision on Marong Business Park

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Mayor Cr Margaret O’Rourke said:

“The Minister for Planning’s decision to not apply a Public Acquisition Overlay to the Marong Business Park site is extremely disappointing as the Marong location was Council’s preferred site to develop a business park.

“The site was rezoned last August by the Minister to support the development of a business park, which demonstrated the need for industrial land to satisfy Greater Bendigo and the region’s present and future needs.

“This decision will have a significant impact on our thriving advanced local manufacturing sector and will no doubt be disappointing for the Bendigo Manufacturing Group, for which this project has been a priority for 16 years.

“The lack of suitable industrial land remains a serious and pressing issue for Greater Bendigo; without it we risk losing not just future but existing jobs for our growing population.

“This project was a priority for the Loddon Campaspe Group of Councils as they also recognised the economic and employment benefits of a business park in our region.

“Other sites were rigorously reviewed and assessed for suitability for a business park and none were as strategically located as the Marong site.

“Council made a generous offer to the landowners based on its current zoning which increased the land value significantly. Compulsory acquisition was not Council’s preferred option, but one we believed was necessary given the importance of the project.”

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