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Values, Principles & Approach

By 2020, Greater Bendigo will be widely acknowledged across Australia as one of Australia’s most progressive regional cities. Bendigo will develop as the vibrant regional capital city serving north-central Victoria and central-southern NSW. By 2020, we envisage our residents will be increasingly confident in their region’s growth and economic vitality. Our regional health services and education providers will increasingly attract new residents, visitors and skilled professionals and help retain them. We envisage that La Trobe University will have increased its student numbers in Bendigo from about 5,000 in 2014 to about 8,000 in 2020 – staking Bendigo’s claim as one of Australia’s great regional “University Cities.” La Trobe University will have established its proposed Bendigo Art Institute in association with Bendigo Art Gallery and other partners, and laid the planning and advocacy foundations for the establishment of a Medical School. Bendigo Senior Secondary College, Girton Grammar School Bendigo, Catholic College Bendigo, the new Marist Brothers College in Maiden Gully, and Victory and Creek Street Christian Colleges will each have further expanded and reinvested, and collectively continued to increase the quality and diversity of our secondary education graduates. Greater Bendigo’s manufacturing and mining industries will have continued to defy national trends and grown in real terms, and collaborated well to identify new export markets and increase the volume of goods and services sold from Bendigo across Australia and the world. The City of Greater Bendigo will have continued to play a strong facilitation role in this regard. To host new industry and address a shortage of quality well-buffered industrial land, the proposed Marong Business Park, to the outer west of Bendigo, will have been re-zoned and in-part subdivided, and become “development ready” through property marketing and the provision of utility infrastructure delivered in stages. Greater Bendigo’s labour force will have further developed and addressed areas of skills shortages becoming a drawcard for attracting new and existing business and industry growth to the area. Our largest private sector employer Bendigo and Adelaide Bank will continue to be headquartered in Bendigo and will have consolidated itself as the fifth-largest Australian-owned retail bank in Australia. Together with other banking and financial service providers, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s presence in Bendigo, indeed its substantial growth, has consolidated our status as a major financial services hub in regional Australia. Our status as a major regional public administration hub will also have been strengthened through the attraction of another major Victorian Government agency or department from Melbourne to Bendigo. By 2020, Greater Bendigo’s reputation for providing excellence in business support will be evidenced through smoother and more efficient pathways for new businesses to open their doors or connect to the rest of the world through improved digital on-line networks. Bendigo’s small businesses will feel more supported through business planning programs and “business brokering” support from the City of Greater Bendigo.

The region’s transport infrastructure will provide vital backbone support necessary for growth and productivity. Our improved road and rail network efficiency will have facilitated increased movement of passengers and freight in quicker and safer ways. Bendigo Airport’s expansion will no longer be a civic dream, but rather will have finally happened, through the construction of a new runway, and associated taxiways and lighting, and upgraded terminal facilities, required to host the type of medium-sized aircraft (e.g. up to 70- seat capacity) necessary to service a fast growing regional city the scale and nature of Bendigo. Bendigo Airport will also have been developed to incorporate a contemporary Business Park within its boundaries, as many other airports have done successfully across Australia. Our cultural assets will have become increasingly celebrated by locals and visitors alike and major cultural attractions including an expanded Bendigo Art Gallery with national profile; refurbished and expanded Bendigo Central Library; 1,000- seat Ulumbarra Theatre; and the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion will have been completed and thriving to the west of Bendigo at Myers Flat, and planning would be well advanced with regard to the proposed Sacred Heart Cathedral “Faith of the Goldfields” precinct. The Bendigo Regional Tourism area will also have continued to mature in terms of attractions and quality visitor offering, and by 2020 will be boasting a year-round calendar of major events known for their high calibre, diversity, attraction of visitors, and strong economic yield. In 2020, Greater Bendigo will continue to offer residents the strength of a dynamic regional city while still maintaining relative affordability in housing and a high standard, safe living environment compared to Australia’s metropolitan cities. Bendigo’s diversified economy will be thriving, evidenced by continued growth in Gross Regional Product, relative low unemployment levels and higher than present workforce participation levels compared to other Victorian regional cities. Bendigo will also increasingly develop as a major food and wine processing, distribution and service-centre hub serving and benefiting from the farming sector that plays such a vital economic role in our broader surrounding region. Business and industry anchored in Greater Bendigo will grow their influence on the nation, having adopted innovative and collaborative practices and alliances endeavouring to unlock new economic opportunities and market niches. And by 2020, our population will have grown beyond 120,000.

Values, Principles & Approach

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Strategy Aim

Five key priority areas have been identified to help categorize the wide range of initiatives deemed most important to enhance the economic vitality and diversity of Greater Bendigo and help achieve our ambitious vision. These priority areas are:
1. Infrastructure
2. Education and Training
3. Business Support and Investment Attraction
4. Liveability and Tourism
5 Taking Bendigo to the World – Positioning a world-class regional city

Strategy Objectives

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