A five-point draft strategy to drive economic growth across the Loddon Campaspe region will be considered by Council at its April meeting.
The draft Loddon Campaspe Regional Economic Growth Strategy supports the City of Greater Bendigo and Campaspe, Central Goldfields, Loddon, Macedon and Mount Alexander Shires and focuses on the following areas:
- Bendigo, the regional capital
- Regional employment and innovation corridor
- Strong regional food industry
- Tourism and international economy
- Industries of the future
The 10-year strategy outlines a vision for the Loddon Campaspe region to be the most progressive in Australia by 2030 and an inclusive corridor of economic activity.
The strategy includes a focus on population-driven industries and builds on the region’s strengths of agriculture, food processing, tourism and economic support for emerging industries, and seeks to improve the region’s prosperity through productivity gains, increased wages and a higher level of educational attainment.
The report to Council notes the Loddon Campaspe region is the most populous in the Loddon Mallee area.
“It has sustained growth of 1.25 per cent per annum and is forecast to proportionately increase to represent 75 per cent of the Loddon Mallee population by 2031,” it said.
“Since the last Census, 17,458 new jobs were created in the Loddon Campaspe. The key sectors to expand the local economic base were health care and social assistance, construction, accommodation and food services, education and training, agriculture, forestry and fishing, and administrative services.”
The strategy also seeks to support other key initiatives currently underway, including the bid by Greater Bendigo and other neighbouring municipalities to achieve a UNESCO World Heritage Listing for the Central Victorian Goldfields, Bendigo’s bid to be named Australia’s first Creative City of Gastronomy and plans to further activate central Bendigo.
Should Council support the strategy, an investment prospectus for the region will be completed by the end of the current financial year and highlight shovel-ready projects.
The strategy has been jointly developed by the Loddon Mallee Regional Development Australia Committee and the Loddon Campaspe Regional Partnership.