Research for the City of Greater Bendigo’s new Industrial Land Development Strategy has identified a significant future shortfall in industrial land by 2032; in particular land areas of between one to five hectares are forecast to run out by 2027.
New findings from the Needs and Gaps Analysis report confirmed Greater Bendigo’s current supply of an estimated 120 hectares of available industrial land will be exhausted by 2032. Greater Bendigo has four times less zoned industrial land than both Geelong and Ballarat.
A detailed audit of all potential industrial land across Greater Bendigo was undertaken as part of the initial work, which looked at limitations and restrictions such as overlays, infrastructure issues and locations too close to residential housing.
City Director Strategy and Growth Bernie O’Sullivan said independent consultants REMPLAN were also commissioned to prepare a Strategic Economic Inputs Report.
“According to REMPLAN’s forecasts, if a quarter of the identified land cannot be developed, supply shortages could be seen as early as 2024 with an estimated 1,081 jobs at risk by 2036,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
“This potentially puts Greater Bendigo at a disadvantage in trying to attract new businesses looking for affordable, accessible land, which is why the need to identify suitable land now is important and we are working closely with the Victorian Planning Authority on the review.
“We also held forums late last year with businesses and community members and their feedback, coupled with the findings to date, reiterate that a good mix of land sizes needs to be available to suit different businesses and their needs now and in the future.”
Small (micro) lots, grouping businesses together in suitable locations, precincts with supported infrastructure, new technology, access to roads, rail and airport links, and planning for future business trends are among the many considerations based on the feedback received.
The role of Bendigo East and the airport will be considered as part of the strategy review. Since the audit was carried out late last year, just over 9.9 hectares has been made available for sale across Greater Bendigo, and of that four hectares are in Bendigo East. The total available land in Bendigo East is approximately 60 hectares.
“Greater Bendigo has driven much of the growth as an industrial centre for the broader Loddon Campaspe region, with 49 per cent of employment generated in Bendigo. With enough industrial land for the next 30 years, Greater Bendigo can take advantage of its central location on key routes between Melbourne, Mildura and Echuca,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
While the City has identified the clear need for future industrial land, no locations have yet been identified and this will be the focus of the next stage of work. A draft Industrial Land Development Strategy is due to be released in the coming months and there will be a number of opportunities for the community, businesses and stakeholders to provide input throughout the process.
The Needs and Gaps Analysis, the Strategic Economic Inputs Report as well as Q&As are available at www.bendigo.vic.gov.au/industrial