A STRONGER GREATER BENDIGO - 2030 Where all people can thrive - StartUp Central Victoria

 
A STRONGER GREATER BENDIGO - 2030 Where all people can thrive - StartUp Central Victoria
A
STRONGER
GREATER
BENDIGO
2030         Where all people
             can thrive.

Economic Development Strategy 2020-2030
A STRONGER GREATER BENDIGO - 2030 Where all people can thrive - StartUp Central Victoria
Greater Bendigo takes a bold,
transformative approach to its future.
But our history and our deep cultural heritage are also
a big part of our strength. We are on Djaara Country.
Thousands of years of settlement by the Traditional
Owners and the pioneering spirit of gold miners are
embedded in our DNA. They represent a crucial part of our
story and what we strive to be and what we want to be
known for. They provide a binding, often unspoken journey
that people gravitate towards in building our identity.
Who we are encompasses a number of qualities. We want
all our people to see a city that cares for all its people,
that is in tune with its environment and that seeks a softer
imprint on the planet. A city that values those who are
creative and respects those who need support. A city that
has a global perspective and reach but is attuned to the
importance of local community, identity and networks.
Small cities - even great small cities, particularly those
in regional settings, often struggle to state their value
proposition for their people and for the outside world.
Often such statements are characterised by clichéd
sentiment that is essentially generic. They seek to try
to mean everything to everyone and end up meaning
nothing to anyone.
While we want to share what we have we don’t simply
want to be a tourist destination. While we acknowledge
our links to other regions and to Melbourne and we
will grow those links, we are much more than an outer
commuter suburb. We have built enviable businesses
and services in finance and health and our advanced
manufacturing sector has a distinct global profile, yet
there is more, much more to a community than that. Our
housing is affordable for most and our lifestyle is enriched
by great heritage buildings and places and as a city in
a forest we are envied by many. Those who come for
education find a safe and welcoming community. But are
these all our value propositions to the world?
Why will people come, why will they stay, why will they
invest, why will they choose to raise a family and why will
they value Greater Bendigo? Different people will have
different responses according to their specific needs.
Ideally each will find that their needs are met.
So what is our identity as we go forward? What will we look
like and be known for? When people ask where are you
from, what image will they conjure up when you tell them?
We will develop and share that response together. It
will be the response of an inclusive community. One
where everyone feels valued and self-determination is a
recognised strength. A community that embraces its past,
acknowledges the present, but has a very strong eye on
the future.
All our people will say - we live in a great place, one that I
care for and one that deeply cares for me.
A STRONGER GREATER BENDIGO - 2030 Where all people can thrive - StartUp Central Victoria
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
OF COUNTRY
The City of Greater Bendigo is on both Dja Dja Wurrung and Taungurung
Country. We acknowledge and extend our appreciation for the Dja Dja
Wurrung and Taungurung Peoples, the Traditional Owners of this land.
We pay our respects to leaders and Elders past, present and emerging
for they hold the memories, the traditions, the culture and the hopes
of all Dja Dja Wurrung and Taungurung Peoples.
We express our gratitude in the sharing of this land, our sorrow for the
personal, spiritual and cultural costs of that sharing and our hope that
we may walk forward together in harmony and in the spirt of healing.
A STRONGER GREATER BENDIGO - 2030 Where all people can thrive - StartUp Central Victoria
IMPLEMENTATION
COMMITTEE FOREWORD
Greater Bendigo is a great                  By 2030 more than 140,000 people will       We want to make a difference and want
                                            be calling Greater Bendigo home. The        to be able to measure progress that
place to live and invest and                city will have a notable track record. It   is indicative of a city that is achieving
our assets are the envy of                  will be renowned for a strong, robust,      significant social, economic and
much larger communities.                    innovative and diversified workplace        environmental outcomes. Greater
                                            that creates long term jobs. We will be     Bendigo will be more inclusive and
We are a highly liveable, growing           a place where people can continue           sustainable and a community where
regional centre. Businesses are investing   to enjoy an exceptionally high-quality      more people can thrive.
and our residents are proud of where        lifestyle as we work towards being
                                                                                        We are working towards a focused,
they live. Nearly 2,000 additional          recognised as the world’s most
                                                                                        collective impact approach that builds
people call Greater Bendigo home            liveable community.
                                                                                        on the strength of our city and the local
every year. We have a strong base           Importantly in 2020, the community          and regional collaborative partnerships
and by empowering all our people            recognises that not everyone is able to     that are already in place. We are actively
to thrive we will ensure we can reach       fully participate in Greater Bendigo’s      adapting to the challenges of economic
our full potential. We are strongly         prosperity. We know that education          change, taking practical actions to
connected to Melbourne, Sydney              levels on average need to be higher         manage environmental risks, protecting
and Canberra through our transport          and the skills possessed by many of our     and building on the liveability of our
and communications networks, and            people need to be broader and deeper        region, strengthening the resilience of
through our business and government         in a rapidly changing economy with          our economy and deliver on initiatives
relationships. Globally we are engaging     new and challenging workplaces. We          for climate change.
with the world; our manufacturers are       recognise that increasing household
exporting to over 50 countries, in the                                                  We will work with our Boards and
                                            income levels for many people will be
arts and creative industries we have                                                    organisations to ensure the on-going
                                            critical and that far too many people
worldwide links and relationships.                                                      development of Greater Bendigo, by
                                            find themselves the victims of rapid
                                                                                        achieving the vision and strategic
Our plan is for Greater Bendigo to be       change rather than the beneficiaries
                                                                                        directions outlined in this Strategy. We
much more widely recognised as a            of new opportunities. Our 2030 plan
                                                                                        invite you to join us on
great liveable city. By 2030 we will have   is about building on our strengths
                                                                                        this journey.
built further on our strengths, we’ll be    and opportunities, but also squarely
more known nationally and globally          facing and acting on what are some
for welcoming and caring for all and        emerging and growing issues. The plan
that we are living sustainably within our   is designed to uplift people and ensure
environmental setting.                      that everyone can participate.

  4 A STRONGER GREATER BENDIGO 2030
A STRONGER GREATER BENDIGO - 2030 Where all people can thrive - StartUp Central Victoria
The following people
 are the members of the
 Implementation Committee:

           Cr Margaret O’Rourke                         Marnie Baker                                   Dennis Bice
Mayor City of Greater Bendigo (Chairperson)      Managing Director Bendigo and                       CEO Be.Bendigo
             Craig Niemann                              Adelaide Bank
       CEO City of Greater Bendigo

             Damian Wells                                Peter Faulkner                              Ryan Peterson
     Managing Director Coliban Water                   CEO Bendigo Health                  Mayor Greater Bendigo Youth Council

              Rodney Carter                          Nigel McGuckian                                 Danielle Derksen
      CEO Dja Dja Wurrung Aboriginal            Committee Member for Loddon                  Chair, Bendigo Education Council
            Clans Corporation                   Campaspe Regional Partnership                         (2020 - current)

      The following people have at            • Darren McGregor / Former Chair,         • Kylie Ovenden / Senior Economic
      times represented the members             Bendigo Education Council                 Development Officer City of
      at meetings and City of Greater         • Neville Pearce / Interim Managing         Greater Bendigo
      Bendigo staff have provided               Director Coliban Water                  • Alison McKenzie / Senior Economic
      support services:                                                                   Development Officer City of
                                              • Khayshie Tilak Ramesh
      • Shaun Eldridge / Executive              / Former Mayor Greater Bendigo            Greater Bendigo
        Director Finance and Resources          Youth Council                           The Strategy Implementation
        Bendigo Health                        • Annika Ritchie / Former Deputy          Committee thanks all those people
      • Steve Jackson / General                 Mayor Greater Bendigo Youth             who have contributed their time
        Manager Economic Development            Council                                 and thoughts through submissions
        Dja Dja Wurrung Aboriginal Clans      • Bernie O’Sullivan / Director Strategy   and attendance at Advisory Group
        Corporation                             and Growth City of Greater Bendigo      meetings.
      • Jeff Rigby / Former Managing          • Trevor Budge / Manager Regional
        Director Coliban Water                  Sustainable Development City of
                                                Greater Bendigo

                                                                                                                                5
A STRONGER GREATER BENDIGO - 2030 Where all people can thrive - StartUp Central Victoria
The Strategy’s vision for
2030 is to ‘shape an inclusive,
sustainable and prosperous
community where all
people can thrive’
A STRONGER GREATER BENDIGO - 2030 Where all people can thrive - StartUp Central Victoria
CONTENTS
IMPLEMENTATION                                          4. ACTION PLAN                                         39
COMMITTEE FOREWORD                                 4    Grow sustainable jobs and investment                    40
                                                           1. Transform the city centre                         41
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY                                  9
                                                           2. Capitalise on our gold rush                       44
1. I MPACTS AND REALISING                                 3. Unlock land and future infrastructure             46
    THE OPPORTUNITIES                                      4. Invest in business innovation                     50
    - THROUGH RECOVERY AND
                                                           5. Strengthen our brand                              52
    POST PANDEMIC                                  12
                                                        Increase liveability for all                            54
2. G
    REATER BENDIGO                                        6. Support a healthier community                    55
   - THE STORY SO FAR                              19      7. Invest in all our communities                     58
  2.1 How did Greater Bendigo adapt to a
                                                           8. Help all our communities reach their potential   60
       changing agenda and reinvent itself?        21
                                                        Better link jobs, education, skills and training
  2.2 Future challenges and opportunities in           offerings to the city and region’s needs                64
      Greater Bendigo and the wider region         22
                                                           9. Invest in education and skills                    65
  2.3 Profound issues that a new Strategy must
       confront and resolve                        25      10. Build on our procurement programs               68

  2.4 Alignment with the Loddon Campaspe                 11. Develop our industry and work experience
       Regional Economic Growth Strategy           28          programs                                         70
                                                        Be widely envied as a leader in innovation,
  2.5 Alignment with other strategic work         29
                                                        environmental and climate change initiatives            72
  2.6 Two Contrasting Future Scenarios for
                                                           12. Lead low carbon and circular economy
       Greater Bendigo                             30
                                                               initiatives                                      73

3. A
    STRONGER GREATER                                      13. Lead regionally owned energy                     76
   BENDIGO 2030                                    33      14. Build resilience around our water services      78
  3.1 An Inclusive, Sustainable and Prosperous
       Growth Framework                            33   5. APPENDICES                                           80
  3.2 Vision                                      34      Appendix A - Economic impact analysis for
                                                           Greater Bendigo                                      80
  3.3 Strategic Directions and Initiatives        34
  3.4 Objectives                                  35      Appendix B - Suggested localised indicators          85

  3.5 Implementation and Measuring Success         36   6. REFERENCES                                           86
A STRONGER GREATER BENDIGO - 2030 Where all people can thrive - StartUp Central Victoria
A STRONGER GREATER BENDIGO - 2030 Where all people can thrive - StartUp Central Victoria
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

A stronger Greater Bendigo                   A stronger Greater Bendigo 2030 evolved
                                             from the Greater Bendigo Economic
2030 – where all people can                  Development Strategy Discussion Paper
thrive is Greater Bendigo’s                  which was released for public discussion
Economic Development                         and comment in July 2019. There was
                                             strong support from members of the
Strategy 2020-2030.
                                             public and feedback through formal
                                             submissions and commentary from
The Strategy targets better and more
sustainable businesses and jobs;             internal and external advisory groups
improved health and wellbeing;               and the Steering Committee.
strengthened skills and education            A stronger Greater Bendigo 2030 is an
levels; and actions that improve the         action plan for our region’s future. It
environment and tackle climate change.       links to the wider Loddon Campaspe
A stronger Greater Bendigo 2030              region and it builds on Greater Bendigo’s
recognises the unprecedented speed           outstanding attributes. It is planning for
and severity of COVID-19 on households,      sustained population growth, a robust
                                             and diversified economy and a place           At the Strategy’s heart is an undertaking
communities and businesses. Greater
                                             where people can enjoy an exceptionally       to ensure that everyone living in Greater
Bendigo’s progressive responses to
                                             high-quality lifestyle.                       Bendigo can have the opportunity to
the impacts of COVID-19 align with the
                                                                                           thrive and participate in a great and
Strategy’s longer-term vision.               While Greater Bendigo aspires to be           liveable community.
The Strategy has been developed              ‘the world’s most liveable community’,
                                             we know that not everyone is able to          Too often economic development
and will be implemented through a
                                                                                           strategies are built purely on the
collaborative partnership led by the         participate unless decisive action is
                                                                                           successes and attributes enjoyed by
Mayor, CEO’s, Chairs and key members         taken - education levels on average need
                                                                                           a city and region. This Strategy is a
of the following organisations:              to be higher; skills possessed by many
                                                                                           considered, aspirational and ambitious
• City of Greater Bendigo                    are limited in a changing workplace;
                                                                                           response to the challenges and
                                             there are large pockets of disadvantage
• Bendigo and Adelaide Bank                                                                opportunities that Greater Bendigo and
                                             including high levels of poor health and      its wider region will confront over the
• Be.Bendigo                                 wellbeing; and, too many residents find       next decade.
• Dja Dja Wurrung Aboriginal Clans           themselves the victims of rapid change
  Corporation                                rather than the beneficiaries of new          The Strategy capitalises on and
• Loddon Campaspe Regional                   opportunities.                                responds to global forces and their local
  Partnership                                                                              and regional impacts and opportunities.
                                             The Strategy’s vision for 2030 is to ‘shape   These include: climate change; the rise
• Bendigo Health                             an inclusive, sustainable and prosperous      of Asia; rapid urbanisation; demographic
• Coliban Water                              community where all people can thrive’.       and social change; and digital
• Bendigo Education Council                  A stronger Greater Bendigo 2030 is            innovation. These forces are confronting,
                                             designed to improve the living standards      but they are also creating opportunities
• Greater Bendigo Youth Council
                                             of all members of our community by            as they impact on lifestyles, the
Each member has committed to                 building better, more sustainable jobs        structure of work, the skills required for
work together as an Implementation           and by significantly improving our            future jobs, the demand for services and
Committee to build a better future for       health, wellbeing, education levels and       the current and likely future structure of
the people of the City of Greater Bendigo.   our environment.                              the economy.

                                                                                                                                 9
A STRONGER GREATER BENDIGO - 2030 Where all people can thrive - StartUp Central Victoria
Failure to respond                             These circumstances often compound           • The visitor and events economy has
                                               poor health and wellbeing and lead to          become an important economic
proactively will                               children and young people being unable         pillar with an estimated three million
mean that the                                  to take advantage of the opportunities
                                               that arise from a growing, buoyant
                                                                                              visitors last year
                                                                                            • There is nearly $400M worth of
benefits of                                    economy.                                       new government buildings and
growth will not                                Bendigo as a major Australian                  construction locked in and there
                                               regional centre has the critical mass;         are significant private sector
be shared by all                               the liveability, the employment and            developments approved or in
                                               business diversity; the physical and           progress
                                               locational advantages and connections;       Bendigo is not only a major service
Greater Bendigo, similar to other              and the collaboration and partnerships       centre for an expansive region but has
advanced economies, needs to position          between key organisations to                 developed a distinct and important
itself to be able to reap the benefits of      respond to these opportunities and           role as Victoria’s third largest urban
these changes and deliver substantial          comprehensively tackle the challenges.       economy. Increasingly that role draws
benefits for the community. Failure to         A stronger Greater Bendigo 2030              on the attributes of an open, innovative
respond proactively will mean that the         builds on our existing strengths and         and creative city.
benefits of growth will not be shared by       our people, embraces a wide agenda           The city and region are entering a
all. Further, changes in the economy, the      and seeks to implement actions               new and exciting period as they are
structure of the workforce and the types       and programs which can strengthen            capitalising on a series of attributes and
of skills needed in the future are likely to   our economy through a program of             qualities that give them a national, and
mean that generally those with limited         progressive transformation. Many             in some areas an international, profile
education and skill levels will be further     widely used indicators demonstrate that      and reach. Greater Bendigo in many
left behind.                                   Greater Bendigo is not only travelling       respects continues to reinvent itself.
Failure to transition to the future            very well but is the envy of many other      Where it is transforming it is poised to
economy could mean more people will            regional centres:                            seize the opportunities that have been
have limited employment opportunities          • Population growth has been strong          identified in this Strategy.
and may experience long term                     for many years and on current
                                                                                            Where a business as usual approach has
disadvantage.                                    indications is likely to be sustained
                                                                                            characterised the last 30 or so years the
                                                 into the future – projected rates are in
                                                                                            city has comparatively fallen behind.
                                                 the order of 1.7 per cent pa
                                                                                            Expecting to tackle a current challenge
                                               • Our gross domestic product continues       by applying the same strategies and
                                                 to rise                                    actions have been called out in the
                                               • The economy is buoyant, there is           Strategy. Greater Bendigo needs to
                                                 consistent jobs growth and overall         continue to transition and transform.
                                                 unemployment levels are below
                                                                                            The region enjoys a large scale, a wide
                                                 national rates
                                                                                            range of services and facilities, lead
                                                                                            organisations with the needed passion
                                                                                            and capability and the civic leaders
                                                                                            to collaboratively work towards this
                                                                                            transformation with widely agreed
                                                                                            outcomes.

  10 A STRONGER GREATER BENDIGO 2030
A stronger Greater Bendigo 2030 is             6. Support and enable a much healthier
built on an inclusive, sustainable                community*
and prosperous growth model and                                                             Success can be measured
                                               7. Target investment in services,
is deliberately people-focused, uses                                                        through the following
                                                  facilities and programs to
a collective impact approach and is                                                         outcomes, with a suggested
                                                  communities most in need*
outcomes based.                                                                             list of localised indicators
                                               8. Support all our communities and           outlined within the Strategy:
The Strategy incorporates four strategic          people to reach their full potential*     • A 2.65 per cent increase in
directions which set deliberate themes         9. Invest in building our higher               per capita gross regional
around more sustainable businesses and             education and skills training              product each year,
jobs; improved health and wellbeing;               offerings and the transition               equating to approximately
strengthened skills and education levels;          pathways between them*                     $85,500 per capita GRP
and the environment. They being:                                                              by 2030
                                               10. Build on current local and regional
1. Grow sustainable jobs and                       procurement programs                     • A 2.2 per cent increase in
   investment                                                                                 jobs per annum, equating
                                               11. Grow our unique leading-edge
2. Increase liveability for all                                                               to 13,000 additional jobs
                                                   work experience and industry
3. Better link jobs, education, skills                                                        over 10 years
                                                   engagement programs
   and training offerings to the city and                                                   • A 5% increase by 2030 in
                                               12. Plan and develop Bendigo and
   region’s needs                                                                             the region’s key liveability
                                                   region as low carbon and circular
                                                                                              indicators
4. Be widely envied as a leader in                 economy leaders*
   innovation, environmental and                                                            • An increase in Year 12
                                               13. Transition to a regionally owned           or equivalent education
   climate change initiatives                      new energy economy                         completion levels
Fourteen broad initiatives have been           14. Strengthen the city and region’s long-     and higher education
developed from the strategic directions            term water services plan                   participation rates to at
and provide outcomes to deliver. An                                                           least match the Victorian
action plan has been developed and             Members of the Implementation
                                                                                              state averages
included within this Strategy. While           Committee will lead the strategic
                                               directions and initiatives listed,           • Comprehensively reduce
action is proposed on all, eight initiatives                                                  our greenhouse gas
have been nominated as the highest             deliver on actions and report on their
                                               progress. In a number of initiatives, the      emissions to deliver a net
priority (marked with an asterisk):                                                           zero carbon city by 2036
                                               Implementation Committee has listed
1. Transform and revitalise our city                                                          or earlier
                                               other organisations it is keen to see as
   centre*
                                               strong supporting partners.                  Measurable progress on the
2. Capitalise on the opportunities                                                          initiatives will be indicative
   presented by our new gold rush*             There is a range of ways to track and
                                                                                            of a city that is achieving
                                               measure success, including the use
3. Unlock land and build new key                                                            social, economic and
                                               of continuous data and local-level           environmental progress.
   infrastructure particularly transport,
                                               monitoring, which it is proposed will be     Progress will reflect a place
   to support major jobs growth and
                                               aligned with International Standards on      that is a more inclusive,
   investment*
                                               Sustainable Cities and Communities1.         sustainable and prosperous
4. Invest in and support business              These standards provide a framework          community where more
    innovation                                 that supports baseline and historical        people are thriving.
5. Strengthen our brand and                    data and opens opportunities for future
   connections to the world                    forecasting and predictive analysis.

                                                                                                                             11
1
IMPACTS AND REALISING THE
OPPORTUNITIES - THROUGH RECOVERY
AND POST PANDEMIC
A stronger Greater Bendigo 2030
recognises the unprecedented
global speed, impact and
severity of COVID-19 on
households, communities,
businesses, cities and nations.
Greater Bendigo, similar to
every other regional city has
been impacted but generally
not to the extent of many other
cities, particularly larger cities
in Australia and overseas.
This Strategy is released in uncertain
                                               A stronger Greater Bendigo 2030 was due
                                               to be released on April 2, 2020. With the
                                               pandemic lock down the launch was
                                               deferred. In light of the overwhelming
                                               impacts and consequences of COVID-19
                                               the Strategy has been reviewed
                                               and where necessary updated to
                                               accommodate the changes that have
                                               occurred. An Economic Impact Analysis
                                               for COVID-19 in Greater Bendigo is
                                               attached in Appendix A. However, that
                                               review has identified that the 14 actions
                                               which framed the earlier version of the
                                               Strategy are still sound, and in fact a
                                               number of the actions have become
                                               even more significant, while some new
                                               opportunities have emerged.
                                                                                           diverse economy, places the city and
                                                                                           region well to move forward through
                                                                                           turbulent times. Planning for long-term
                                                                                           prosperity that can be shared by all,
                                                                                           needs a secure economic and ecological
                                                                                           base, targeting support to those persons,
                                                                                           communities and businesses that have
                                                                                           been the most impacted alongside an
                                                                                           increased willingness, and invested
                                                                                           capacity, to leverage any opportunities
                                                                                           presented by the pandemic. As the
                                                                                           Mayor Cr Margaret O’Rourke has stated
                                                                                           to a national Inquiry “[In Bendigo] there
                                                                                           is that deep DNA of bringing people
                                                                                           together really easily and quickly, and
                                                                                           that is business leaders or government
                                                                                           officials. When there is an opportunity for
                                                                                           something to be done on that stage from
times. But in many respects the need           The pandemic has provided an
                                                                                           a collaborative point of view, we have
for this Strategy is even greater than         opportunity to reset and sharpen
                                                                                           always been able to pull people really
ever. Cities that come out stronger will       priorities and the specific measures that
                                                                                           closely together.”2
be those that not only embrace the             need to be taken. Greater Bendigo’s
challenges of the pandemic and its             progressive responses to the impacts of     The future is uncertain about the
aftermath, but have widely supported           COVID-19 comprehensively align with the     pandemic’s short and long-term impacts,
strategies, actions, structures and            Strategy’s longer-term vision to ‘shape     however, there has been some clear
processes in place. Cities that will be best   an inclusive, sustainable and prosperous    thinking and lessons learnt that are
placed are those that have a clear plan        community where all people can thrive’.     shaping future agendas.
of where they want to head to and how
                                               The Strategy’s initiatives and actions,
they are going to get there.
                                               along with our existing robust and

  12 A STRONGER GREATER BENDIGO 2030
There are emerging and potentially              persons building a new house in
favourable outcomes that can underpin           Victoria’s regional areas can access
Greater Bendigo’s prospects in a post           $45,000 towards construction, which
pandemic environment. The capacity of           add to the cost savings through lower
new ways of working to break the nexus          serviced land costs compared to
between where people work and live              metropolitan locations. Affordability              There are
has been reinforced:                            for existing housing stock presents the
• Many people have been able to                 opportunity for people to enter the            emerging and
  demonstrate through new working               housing market in urban Bendigo for               potentially
  from home arrangements, that they             a house and land package at under
  have an increased opportunity to ‘live        $350,000. With 875 new dwelling                   favourable
  where they love’ rather than be tied to       approvals between June 2019 and
                                                May 2020 Greater Bendigo is in the
                                                                                              outcomes that
  a work location.
• Meeting virtually has not only been a
                                                top 10 local government locations in           can underpin
  revelation within organisations and
                                                the state.
                                                                                           Greater Bendigo’s
  businesses, but it has emerged that         • Clara’s Melbourne Market Study
  work can in many respects be more             reveals the high levels of discontent          prospects in a
  efficient and that location is no barrier     with city living outlining the 5 biggest      post pandemic
  for many transactions.                        challenges for individuals living in
• Many people have realised the
                                                Melbourne as; cost of living, housing/          environment
                                                rental prices, traffic and travel time,
  productivity gains by being able
                                                crime/safety and population growth.
  to avoid commuting which assists
                                                In addition to this, 1 in 2 (55%) have
  regionally based locations and
                                                considered moving out of Melbourne
  businesses.
                                                and 65% of people are either unsure
• Affordable living options, particularly       or expect things in the metropolitan
  in relation to housing, are now high          area to get worse3.
  on many people’s agendas. Currently
  with government stimulus packages,

                                                                                                          13
Greater Bendigo
has two of the
state’s four
major goldmines
employing in excess
of 1,000 people

Other factors have emerged that are
likely to better position regional cities
like Bendigo as the full impact of the
pandemic become evident.
Population growth in Greater Bendigo
has had limited dependency on
overseas migration, in contrast to it
being the main driver of population
growth in Australia’s major capital
cities. With only about 25% of Greater
Bendigo’s population growth of
about 2,000 persons p.a. derived from
this source, the impact of projected
significant reductions in overseas
migration will have far less impact
compared to Melbourne and other
capital cities.
With a stronger focus on the need for
Australia being less reliant on importing
manufactured items, the strength of            The official Geological Survey of Victoria   new GovHub, new Law Courts, TAFE
Greater Bendigo manufacturing and              believes that at least 75,000,000 ounces     College expansion, additions to Bendigo
advanced manufacturing sector places           of gold is waiting to be discovered across   Health and new CFA headquarters.
the city well to capitalise on new             the state. To place the scale of this in     Bendigo is far better placed than most
opportunities. The strong feedback             historic context, 88,000,000 ounces of       comparable regional cities.
from the Bendigo Manufacturing Group           gold have been mined in Victoria in
representing businesses employing                                                           A strong post-secondary education and
                                               the last 170 years. There is extensive
some 5,500 people in Bendigo and                                                            training presence with four institutions
                                               international interest in the release by
region is that there is significant capacity                                                with a physical presence in the city. As
                                               the state government of the successful
and opportunity for this sector to                                                          the Regions at the Ready: Investing in
                                               tenders for the four exploration licences
capitalise on new opportunities.                                                            Australia’s Future report notes, “The
                                               for what is known as the North Central
                                                                                            presence of regional universities in rural
The price of gold generally rises in times     Victorian Goldfields Ground Release
                                                                                            and regional communities facilitates
of uncertainty. Since the start of 2016        Tender. Bendigo is strategically located
                                                                                            more than just the provision of tertiary
the price of gold has risen 55%. Since         to be the major service centre for the
                                                                                            courses to students. As a central
the start of the pandemic impacting            exploration and mining jobs which will
                                                                                            institution, regional universities can
Australia in late March it has risen over      come from these tenders.
                                                                                            provide the mechanisms needed for
AU$450 per ounce. Bendigo is sitting on        With construction activity and future        regional towns and cities to thrive …
the cusp of the next gold boom. Greater        contracts uncertain because of the           they directly link new ideas with regional
Bendigo has two of the state’s four            impacts of the pandemic, those cities        industries and investment [and] provide
major goldmines employing in excess            that have locked in investment are           the foundation for government, industry
of 1,000 people and with the goldmine          exceptionally well placed. The Bendigo       and business to work collaboratively and
at Fosterville mining what is widely           city centre has a pipeline of government     in partnership; and develop necessary
regarded as the world’s highest-grade,         contracted building construction             education, training and skill course to
lowest-cost mining operations.                 totaling nearly $400million through a        support the region’s needs.”4

  14 A STRONGER GREATER BENDIGO 2030
“Having a strong university presence
in Bendigo is vital for our economy,
our social and cultural life and for our
liveability. Greater Bendigo supports all
higher education providers who want to
secure a base in Bendigo and embraces
exploring a collaborative model with
the scope to provide shared delivery
points including in the city centre. What
is needed are programs delivered and
supported locally that are relevant
to student needs and the long term
workforce needs of the city and region.”5
Whether it’s the overall strength of
the Bendigo economy, the emerging
major regional role the city is playing,
the boost to local businesses and
the connections provided by the
Qantas flights to Sydney, the assured
government construction jobs, the
sustained growth in population and
tourism, the resurgence in gold mining         Greater Bendigo is now building on a
and exploration, or more likely a              strong base of:
combination of all these factors, but          • Sustained population growth
there has been a major commercial
                                               • A vibrant service sector and facilities
interest in the city centre to build hotels.
                                                 with major investment in areas such
Recognising the strategic opportunities          as health, post-secondary education
of Bendigo the City Council in the last          and training and government service
two years has fielded enquiries from             facilities
at least seven separate firms generally        • Acclaimed arts and creative industries
proposing 5-6 storey 100-130 bed 4.5
                                               • Living affordability
star hotels. Significantly a number of
these are from developers who have             • Continuing investment in transport        The recently released report Regions at
purchased their site.                            at the Bendigo airport and with three     the Ready: Investing in Australia’s Future,
                                                 new stations as part of Bendigo Metro     identified the importance of what they
Currently the City has granted one               Rail                                      referred to as ‘catalytic investment’.
planning permit and is assessing two
                                               • Housing choice from inner city, to        This type of investment drives
more. The level of interest in this form of
                                                 suburban to rural and small town          development and growth, and leads
development is unprecedented.
                                                 lifestyle – all with short commutes       to further investment. For example,
While circumstances can change, the            • Strong ‘ten-minute’ neighbourhoods        the presence of an airport, hospital,
emerging evidence is that Bendigo                in a ‘twenty-minute city’ with            university or government department.
is less impacted by the pandemic                 exceptional community identity and        These investments can set off a
than large cities and is well placed             support                                   chain of related outcomes including
to take advantages of new ways of                                                          population growth, education and
                                               • Great lifestyle attributes such as
work, enhanced emphasis on lifestyle                                                       employment opportunities, improved
                                                 recreation and sporting facilities
locations, greater focus on affordability                                                  social and cultural capital, and related
and the emergence of new investment            • Outstanding built heritage as part of     infrastructure investment. All of which
and jobs opportunities. The historic             the city’s DNA                            can markedly influence and transform
attributes of regional living have, in         • Access to nature through the whole        the economic and social prosperity of
many instances, been strengthened.               urban area being a ‘city in a forest’     regional towns.6

                                                                                                                                 15
These attributes, together with being,       In their submission to the House of           Alongside existing short term actions
‘separate but highly accessible’ to          Representatives Select Committee              currently being delivered, actions
Melbourne (and Sydney via our new Air        on Regional Development and                   outlined in the strategy aim to minimise
route once re-opened), has positioned        Decentralisation, the RAI identified that     the impact of immediate job losses,
Greater Bendigo to look for the silver       promoting the movement of population          such as:
lining in meeting the challenges of a        out of the cities will also have benefits     • Realising the potential of creating a
COVID-19 recovery. The reality is that our   for the nation’s economy in general. The        Circular Digital economy and a super
city makes an exceptionally strong pitch     RAI submitted that “for every 100,000           high speed digital City with the 100GB
to prospective residents and businesses      Australians who choose to live in               Bendigo initiative
to shift and invest.                         growing regional cities rather than our
                                                                                           • Supporting the continuing
                                             big five cities, an additional $50 billion
This trend is not new. The Regional                                                          transformation of the city centre and
                                             will be released into the economy over
Australia Institute (RAI) has identified                                                     the adjustment of retailing to new
                                             30 years in reduced congestion costs
through a study of the 2011 and 2016                                                         ways of doing business
                                             and increased consumption.”8
Census results that, contrary to popular                                                   • Building local jobs through the nearly
perceptions, “more people were moving        The initiatives and actions set out             $400M State Government building
from capital cities to regional areas than   in A stronger Greater Bendigo 2030,             investment in jobs
there were moving the other way. Our         target improved living standards of
                                                                                           • The growing private sector interest in
two largest cities showed a net loss of      our residents by building better, more
                                                                                             building accommodation and housing
people to regions between 2011 and           sustainable jobs and by improving our
                                                                                             development
2016.”7                                      health, wellbeing, education levels and
                                             our environment.                              • Council’s new industrial strategy
                                                                                             leading to a new business-industrial
                                             The inclusive, sustainable and                  park with up to 3,000 jobs
                                             prosperous growth framework has been
                                                                                           • Planned expansion of the airport to
 By launching                                built through an economic, social and
                                                                                             increase flight capacity and establish a
                                             environmental context, recognising
 this Strategy                               that everyone living in Greater Bendigo
                                                                                             dedicated airport business park
                                                                                           • New strategies and plans aimed at
 during the time                             needs to have the opportunities to
                                                                                             enhancing the City as a place to live
                                             develop to their full potential through
 of COVID-19,                                deliberate actions to address their needs       such as Greening Greater Bendigo and
                                                                                             Re-imagining the Bendigo Creek
 we are actively                             and a city wide inclusive approach to
                                             leverage all our existing strengths. At       • The realisation of the benefits of
 adapting to the                             the same time the Strategy does not             Bendigo’s UNESCO designation as
                                             avoid confronting the impacts of climate
 challenges of                               change and lifestyle and business
                                                                                             Australia’s first city of gastronomy
                                                                                             which also relates to the wider region
 economic change                             practices that exceed our resources.
                                                                                           All of these are not only adding to
                                             The Strategy includes actions to              Greater Bendigo being a visitor and new
                                             sustainably operate and manage                resident destination of choice but to
                                             within the earth’s resources and critical     attracting investment in businesses and
                                             ecological boundaries. The pandemic           jobs.
                                             is having a deleterious effect, but it also
                                                                                           Greater Bendigo is working towards a
                                             offers opportunity for the future shaping
                                                                                           focused, collective impact approach
                                             of the Greater Bendigo economy into
                                                                                           that builds on the strength of our city
                                             one which aims for a more balanced
                                                                                           and the local and regional collaborative
                                             delivery with a clear social foundation
                                                                                           partnerships that are already in place.
                                             and ecological celling to work within.
                                                                                           By launching this Strategy during
                                             A future more in harmony with that a
                                                                                           the time of COVID-19, we are actively
                                             few generations ago led by the Dja Dja
                                                                                           adapting to the challenges of economic
                                             Wurrung.
                                                                                           change, taking practical actions to
                                                                                           manage environmental risks, protecting
                                                                                           and building on the liveability of our
                                                                                           region, strengthening the resilience
                                                                                           of our economy and delivering on
                                                                                           initiatives to combat and lessen the
                                                                                           impacts of climate change.

                                                                                                                               17
2
2
GREATER BENDIGO - THE STORY SO FAR
The City of Greater Bendigo,
with a population of over
118,000 people is located
in the geographic centre of
Victoria.
The region is part of Jaara Country, the
traditional land of people of the Dja Dja
Wurrung language. With Bendigo as its
largest centre, the municipality also has
thriving smaller communities including
Heathcote, Elmore, Goornong, Marong,
Redesdale and Axedale. Bendigo has
been a major business and industry
centre since the gold rush in the 1850s.
The growing economy and vibrant
community make Bendigo an exciting
and progressive place to live.
Many widely used indicators
                                             • The visitor and events’ economy has
                                               become an important economic pillar
                                               with over three million visitors to the
                                               Bendigo region, including 1.3 million
                                               overnight visitors, a 19.5 per cent
                                               growth on the previous year and a 92
                                               per cent growth over the past 10 years
                                             Liveability in Greater Bendigo by many
                                             common measures can be judged to be
                                             very high:
                                             • The economy and employment are
                                               diverse and cover a wide range of
                                               sectors and offers a variety of jobs
                                               rarely seen in regional centres of
                                               similar size9
                                             • The completion of Bendigo Health’s
                                               new $1B hospital and fitout has
                                               given the region Australia’s leading
                                               regionally based digital hospital
                                             • Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, which
                                                                                           • Bendigo’s nationally renowned
                                                                                             built heritage provides the city and
                                                                                             surrounds with an extraordinary asset
                                                                                             and defining legacy from our gold
                                                                                             mining past
                                                                                           • Major sporting and recreation facilities
                                                                                             are the envy of much larger cities
                                                                                           • Housing costs are comparatively
                                                                                             low whether people choose to live
                                                                                             in urban Bendigo or in the many
                                                                                             surrounding small towns and rural
                                                                                             communities
                                                                                           • Residents enjoy short work
                                                                                             commutes, free of the traffic
                                                                                             congestion and wasted time and costs
                                                                                             that afflicts Australia’s major cities
                                                                                           These qualities provide a critical
                                                                                           foundation for a widely supported
                                                                                           economic development strategy with
                                                                                           a strong local commitment to deliver
demonstrate that Greater Bendigo is not        is headquartered in Bendigo, is             and implement the key actions. Greater
only travelling very well but could be the     Australia’s fifth largest retail bank and   Bendigo is now poised to build further
envy of many other regional centres:           the only bank with its headquarters         on its past and current successes and
                                               located outside of a capital city           its extensive assets, attributes and
• Population growth has been strong
  for many years and on current              • The direct connections to the rest          opportunities. As a great small city,
  indications is likely to be sustained        of the globe offer daily flights to and     Bendigo knows that it can continue
  into the future – projected population       from Sydney via the Bendigo Airport         to perform well above its size. Greater
  growth rates are in the order of 1.7       • The Bendigo arts and creative               Bendigo enjoys:
  per cent                                     industries scene is exceptionally           • A single local government jurisdiction
• Greater Bendigo has a projected 2050         strong. The Bendigo Art Gallery is            covering the city and rural surrounds
  population of about 200,000 people           now the national leader in regional         • An agreed and shared productive
                                               galleries, the 1,000 seat Ulumbarra           set of goals and priorities with its
• Our gross regional product continues
                                               Theatre is exceeding attendance               neighbouring local governments
  to rise – averaging 8.32 per cent
                                               forecasts and Bendigo’s recent                across the Loddon Campaspe region
  between 2014 and 2018                        admission to the UNESCO Creative
• The economy is buoyant and overall           Cities Network is international             • Civic leaders who are committed to
  unemployment levels are below                recognition of the city and region            working together to deliver shared
  national rates                                                                             actions and outcomes
                                             • Our residents enjoy ‘a city in a
• There is nearly $400M worth of               forest’ with its amazing access to an       • An enduring collaborative partnership
  new government buildings and                 extraordinary natural environment             approach between the city’s leading
  facilities construction locked in and        – unique among Australia’s regional           organisations
  there are significant private sector         centres, urban Bendigo is virtually         • A proud track record of delivering
  developments approved or in train            surrounded by national parks                  projects

                                                                                                                                  19
Key highlights and industries of
Bendigo as at February 202010 are:

                                  Number                                       Average     Value-add
                                  of jobs                                     personal     industries
                                                                                weekly
Total                             47,905                                       income      •   Finance
                                                                                           •   Health care services
output
                                                                              $604         •   Retail trade
$14.528B                                                                                   •   Construction

Key                                                                       Gross Regional
industries                                                                   Product per
                                   Gross Regional                                worker
• Manufacturing                    Product total                                                 Gross
• Construction
                                   $7.503B                                $156,635               Regional
• Financial and                                                                                  Product per
  insurance                                                                                               capita
• Rental, hiring and
  real estate services                                                                     $67,919

                 ight visit                             itor   s nigh
          e rn             or                       Vis              ts                       y trip visitors
     Ov                       s                                                             Da

          19.5%                                       2.4%                                      7.1%
           92%                                        89%                                       42%

1.3 million overnight                       2.6 million visitor nights                3.2 million day trip visitors
visitors
                                            • 2.4% growth on the                      • 7.1% growth on the
• 19.5% growth on the                         previous year                             previous year
  previous year
                                            • 89% growth over the past                • 42% growth over the past
• 92% growth over the past                    10 years                                  10 years
  10 years

 20 A STRONGER GREATER BENDIGO 2030
2.1 How did Greater Bendigo                The region is entering a new and             Facing the need to think bigger and
adapt to a changing agenda                 exciting period as it capitalises on a       bolder, a ‘collaborative, collective
                                           series of attributes and qualities that      impact approach’ guided the actions
and reinvent itself?                       give a national, and in some areas an        of Council, many of Bendigo’s leading
                                           international profile and reach. Greater     institutions and some notable visionary
The past one hundred and eighty            Bendigo is reinventing itself once again     leaders. The city has reaped the benefits
years have seen an extraordinary           and is poised to seize the opportunities     from:
transformation. Land which was             that have been identified in this
violently taken from the Dja Dja Wurrung                                                • A diversified economic base
                                           Strategy.
– the Traditional Owners – to firstly                                                   • Growing a number of local ‘anchor’
become an obscure pastoral run, was        The changes, growth and development            institutions into national icons
dramatically impacted in the 1850s by      that has taken place over the last three     • Developing a strong visitor economy
what was to become the world’s richest     decades reveal that since 1990 the city
                                                                                        • Investing in health facilities and
gold mining centre. Bendigo in the early   has again changed tack in response to
                                                                                          secondary and post-secondary
twentieth century then transitioned        many forces. Greater Bendigo and its
                                                                                          education facilities
into a traditional manufacturing           wider region has largely reinvented itself
and agricultural centre. Now, at the       through a combination of:                    • Building liveability through an
commencement of the third decade                                                          emphasis on great new community
                                           • Deliberate priority actions
of the twenty first century, Bendigo is                                                   facilities
                                           • Fortuitous public and private
not only a major service centre but has                                                 • Linking to a wide grid of water sources
                                             investments
developed a distinct and important                                                        and securing water for population
role as Victoria’s third largest urban     • Bold new directions and initiatives          growth and climate change
economy. Increasingly that role draws        that capitalised on the circumstances
                                                                                        • The revival of regional passenger rail
on the attributes of an open, innovative     of the time
                                                                                          services to and from Melbourne
and creative city.                         • Embracing global trends and using
                                                                                        • The construction of a freeway linking
                                             new technology
                                                                                          Bendigo to Melbourne
                                           • Leveraging the benefits of government
                                                                                        • Upgrading the Bendigo Airport and
                                             investment in infrastructure
                                                                                          attracting the nation’s major carrier to
                                             particularly in areas such as transport
The region is                                and health
                                                                                          provide daily flights
entering a new and                         • Building a diversified economy that is
                                                                                        • Sustained population growth with an
                                                                                          increase of nearly 50,000 people in the
exciting period as                           not tied to any one declining sector -
                                             in contrast to the circumstances that
                                                                                          city’s population in the last 30 years
it capitalises on a                          some other regional centres found          • Engaging with the rest of the world for
                                                                                          new markets and ideas
series of attributes                         themselves in
                                                                                        • Further supporting Greater Bendigo as
                                           By realising a series of strategic
and qualities that                         opportunities as they arose, by
                                                                                          a major agricultural services support
                                                                                          centre
give a national,                           deliberate, considered and well
                                           thought out strategies and initiatives       • An exceptionally strong local and
and in some areas                          and perhaps in some cases by chance,           regional food industry enhanced by
an international                           the city and region has repositioned           the international UNESCO designation
                                                                                          as a City of Gastronomy
                                           and greatly strengthened itself over
profile and reach                          the last generation. Over $3B has been       • Innovative advanced manufacturers
                                           invested by Federal, State and Local           bucking national trends and growing
                                           governments over the last 14 years in          jobs
                                           key infrastructure.

                                                                                                                               21
NORWAY
                                                                                                                                   DENMARK
                                                                                                             UNITED KINGDOM              NETHE
                                                                                                                   IRELAND
                                                                                                                                 SWITZERLAND
                                                    CANADA                                                                    BELGIUM
                                                                                                                               FRANCE
                                                                                                                                       SPAIN
                                                                                                                                          ITALY
                                                 UNITED STATES

                                                                              JAMAICA

                                                                                                                           GHANA

                                                                                            BRAZIL

2.2 Future challenges
and opportunities in
Greater Bendigo and the
wider region

Projecting Greater Bendigo’s current                                  CHILE
population growth rates will see a
total population of 200,000 persons by                                                      ARGENTINA
about 2050 and approaching 400,000
in the region. It is expected that urban
Bendigo would be a regional centre
of about 200,000 people – one of the
twenty largest cities in Australia. In
effect, the next three decades will see
the city almost double its population,
dwelling stock and the number of jobs.
Growth across much of the region, and         1. Growing urbanisation                        2. Demographic and social change
particularly in the Melbourne - Bendigo
                                              People are increasingly mobile and             There are profound changes underway
- Echuca corridor, will be strong and
                                              attracted to cities with jobs, safe places,    relating to a much greater level of
transformative.
                                              quality health and education facilities        aged persons and changing household
The Strategy Discussion Paper released        and affordable housing. Place now              structures. An ageing population has
in mid-2019 identified the following five     matters like never before. Congestion          workforce implications. Providing
major external changes and forces that        in large cities means that regional cities     suitable housing, relevant education
will impact on Greater Bendigo and the        can be increasingly attractive. Greater        and training and long-term employment
region. The city and region have little, if   Bendigo and region can capitalise              opportunities for all people - but
any, control over these forces but each       through planning and actions to create         particularly young people – are critical
of them presents distinct opportunities       an urban environment that is smart,            ingredients for a sustainable Greater
that Greater Bendigo will need to             sustainable, focused on local jobs,            Bendigo and wider region.
capitalise on.                                education and enhanced liveability.

  22 A STRONGER GREATER BENDIGO 2030
SWEDEN
          FINLAND
ERLANDS
    GERMANY     POLAND                                                      RUSSIA
   AUSTRIA      CZECH REPUBLIC
               ROMANIA
                   UKRAINE                                                                                              Countries that
    SLOVENIA                                                                         KOREA                             members of the
         GREECE                                                                                                        Bendigo Region
Y             TURKEY                                                                                    JAPAN           Manufacturing
                 AZERBAIJAN              KAZAKHSTAN
                                                                        CHINA                                             Group have
         EGYPT IRAQ               IRAN                                                                                    exported to

                               UNITED ARAB EMIRATES HONG KONG                             TAIWAN

                    SAUDI ARABIA         INDIA
                                                  THAILAND

                                                                              VIETNAM
                                                         MALAYSIA
                                          SRI LANKA
                                                      SINGAPORE
                       TANZANIA                                                          INDONESIA
                                                                                                           PAPUA NEW GUINEA

                                                                                                                                 FIJI

      SOUTH AFRICA

                                                                                           BENDIGO
                                                                                                                        NEW ZEALAND

             3. Climate change                        4. The rise of Asia                          5. Digital disruption and innovation
             We need to develop and deliver local     The rising incomes of Asia have the          Knowledge-intensive businesses with
             solutions so we can better adapt to      potential to shape Australia’s regions       the ability to use new communication
             and mitigate the impact of climate       through an inflow of investment, a           systems will provide the most
             change on businesses, agriculture,       growth of exports and tourism and            productive opportunities in the future.
             communities and people. We can move      by accommodating those seeking               Greater Bendigo will need to position
             to local renewable energy generation,    higher education and training. There         itself to capitalise on this in order
             plan our region to reduce greenhouse     are growing opportunities for more           to attract and retain a highly skilled
             gas emissions, build resilience around   international markets with good              workforce and continue to be a leading
             our water services and contribute to     transport and connectivity becoming          regional centre. The alternative is
             sustainable global solutions.            key enablers for the wider region.           disruption, scrambling to compete with
                                                                                                   other centres for talent and coping with
                                                                                                   the impacts of rapid change.

                                                                                                                                        23
The Discussion Paper asserted that an        The Discussion Paper identified that          the ‘first thousand days’ impacts
effective Strategy would need actions        more occupations in the future will           the lifelong health, wellbeing and
to substantially increase the overall        require better complex problem-solving        opportunity for the child.
living standards of all members of the       skills, enhanced critical thinking and
                                                                                           Education and employability are
community. This would mean a Strategy        greater creativity. Future workplaces
                                                                                           also the fuel for further growth and
with a strong focus on delivering what is    will require better digital literacy skills
                                                                                           prosperity, not only for people but
termed inclusive growth11.                   and the ability to use digital platforms
                                                                                           also for the success and prosperity of
                                             and programs to communicate, market,
An inclusive growth outcomes                                                               places. The youth of Greater Bendigo
                                             transact and find information.
approach means that those people                                                           have identified that meaningful and
and communities who have been                Digital literacy is a basic workforce         recognised work experience through
marginalized and disadvantaged               requirement. The future of many               local businesses is an essential element
by change are not ‘left behind’ and          occupations is uncertain, but many jobs       of strengthening their prospects. Our
the advantages of increased wealth           will require workers to rely more on          education and training systems must
and opportunities are shared more            creative thinking rather than on physical     provide the required skills for our
equitably. This means tackling a difficult   labour or other traditional skill-sets.       current and future workforce. If these
agenda of issues including; the changing                                                   critical elements are neglected, a
                                             The first thousand days of a child’s life
nature of work and the implications of                                                     growing proportion of our community
                                             is recognised as a period of maximum
such changes; the provision of better                                                      will be further marginalized and
                                             developmental plasticity, when the
and more relevant education and                                                            disadvantage will be entrenched and
                                             foundations of optimum health, growth,
skills development; increasing the                                                         will span generations.
                                             and neurodevelopment across the
employability of people particularly
                                             lifespan are established. A child’s home
young people; and building the capacity
                                             and community environment during
of businesses to embrace innovation.

  24 A STRONGER GREATER BENDIGO 2030
2.3 Profound issues that a                               A social and economic geographical
new Strategy must confront
                                                      divide has emerged in Greater Bendigo
and resolve
                                                       where household location and family
The Greater Bendigo narrative presented
so far has emphasised:
                                                       circumstances influence and in some
• Past successes                                      cases are major determinants of likely
• Current attributes                                      opportunities and future outcomes
• The capacity to innovate and
  transition
• The value of not pursuing a business
  as usual approach                          This situation is creating major divisions   The depth and scale of this situation in
                                             in society, it is entrenching disadvantage   Greater Bendigo is such that this could
• The need for continuing reinvention
                                             and in some instances, it is leading to      be seen as so entrenched that it could
  and transformation to support people
                                             poverty and disengagement.                   become a permanent feature of the
  and the economy and build liveability
                                                                                          city and regional social and economic
                                             Greater Bendigo’s civic leaders and
The reality though is that this                                                           landscape. Such an outcome is not
                                             key organisations are increasingly
progressive agenda is now confronted                                                      acceptable.
                                             aware that there are increasing
by the stark reality of data about the
                                             numbers of people in the region with         In raw numbers and particularly in
city that identifies a major challenge
                                             limited employment prospects and             comparison to metropolitan Melbourne,
to deliver the sort of place that the city
                                             opportunities; a growing proportion of       but similar to many other regional
aspires to be. Greater Bendigo, similar
                                             households are experiencing systemic         centres, Greater Bendigo has:
to many other cities around the world,
                                             disadvantage; greater numbers of             • A low year 12 or equivalent education
has a growing set of issues relating to
                                             both young and older workers are               completion rate
the employability of many people, but
                                             poorly equipped to deal with a rapidly
particularly youth, and their long-term                                                   • A low level of participation in higher
                                             changing work scene; and there are too
capacity to lead fulfilling lives in a                                                      education
                                             many children and young people, who
rapidly changing economy.                                                                 • High rates of young people who are
                                             because of their circumstances, have
The number of people and households          limited opportunities to secure long           leaving school at 16 years of age and
who are being marginalised by changes        term employment in satisfying jobs.            are not entering the workforce or skills
in the economy is increasing, and                                                           training
                                             While this situation does mirror an
many skills possessed by the current                                                      • High levels of people with mental
                                             increasing global trend, in some
workforce are becoming redundant or at                                                      health problems
                                             respects this situation may be more
least are in far less demand. While there                                                 • High levels of households in
                                             entrenched in places like Bendigo than
is a shortage of trained and experienced                                                    nominated suburbs who experience
                                             in many larger centres. Why would this
people in some occupations there is                                                         food insecurity and live in households
                                             be the case? It is likely that those who
also a growing casualisation of labour                                                      which are characterised by poor
                                             find themselves in such circumstances
and in the nature of work itself.                                                           nutrition and health outcomes
                                             in Greater Bendigo are not necessarily
                                             attracted to shift to larger centres. This   • Major concentrations of households
                                             can be the case particularly if they are       and people who are living in poverty
                                             unfamiliar with other places, lack family    • A limited range of higher educational
                                             and workplace connections and face             offerings that enable it to retain,
                                             higher housing and other costs.                educate and train many of its best and
                                                                                            brightest students and place them in
                                                                                            the local and regional workforce
                                                                                          • High rates of people under 25 years of
                                                                                            age who have been unemployed for
                                                                                            longer than 5 years
                                                                                          • Great difficulty in recruiting and
                                                                                            attracting persons for specialised
                                                                                            positions in the workforce

                                                                                                                                 25
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