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the world’s
most liveable
City of Greater Bendigo priority
projects for the Australian
Welcome to
Greater Bendigo
Greater Bendigo – creating the world’s
most liveable community.
The City of Greater Bendigo is pleased to present this investment prospectus.
The City would welcome the opportunity to further partner with the
Australian Government to help achieve its vision for Greater Bendigo
to be the world’s most liveable community.
Greater Bendigo’s population is growing and diversifying because it can
offer residents everything they need in one place – world-class health
care, access to domestic and international flights, quality education
providers, affordable housing and great employment, recreation and
cultural opportunities.
This prospectus highlights a range of projects that demonstrate the City’s
strength to plan long-term and recognise what is needed now and into the
future to remain a successful community.
Delivering the projects in this prospectus will drive future economic
growth and job creation for Greater Bendigo and the wider region,
enhance the health of our community and improve our overall liveability.
The projects represent an investment in the future of Greater Bendigo
and we respectfully seek your support for our vibrant community.

Acknowledgement of Country
City of Greater Bendigo is on Dja Dja Wurrung and Taungurung
Country. The City acknowledges and extends its appreciation
to the Traditional Owners of the land, and pays its respects to
leaders and Elder’s past, present and emerging for they hold
the memories, traditions, culture and the hopes of all Aboriginal
people. The City expresses its gratitude in the sharing of this
land, sorrow for the personal, spiritual and cultural costs of
that sharing, and hopes that the community may walk forward
together in harmony and in the spirit of healing.
Who are we?
Greater Bendigo is one of Australia’s largest inland cities, supporting a local population of
approximately 113,6001 and regional population of close to 240,0002. These numbers are forecast
to reach about 200,0003 and 350,0004 respectively by 2050.
The City wants Greater Bendigo to be a place of excellence for business, including Bendigo Health, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank,
all citizens. Our population is becoming increasingly culturally, Hazeldene’s Chicken Farm, Thales Australia, Australian Defence
religiously and ethnically diverse. We strive to be an inclusive Apparel, La Trobe University, Keech Australia, SERCO, Parmalat,
community that is accessible for all, celebrates multiculturalism, MSD Animal Health, Fosterville and Mandalay Resources mines,
and acknowledges and respects its Traditional Owners, the Dja Industrial Conveyancing, Hofmann Engineering, various Victorian
Dja Wurrung, Taungurung and Gurai-illam Wurrung language Government departments and more than 7,500 businesses.
groups of the Central Kulin nation.
Bendigo has a fascinating history and was once one of the richest
cities in the world after gold was discovered here in 1851. The To Deniliquin
impact of the gold rush is still evident today, particularly Echuca
through our beautiful streetscapes and historic buildings. To Swan Hill

Greater Bendigo consists of an urban area and many To Mildura

rural small towns and villages, all of which contribute

to our strong sense of community and provide
residents with great lifestyle alternatives. Inner-city Wedderburn
To Shepparton
living, family homes, or hobby or large-scale farms
can all be found here. To Wangaratta

We are also a service and infrastructure centre Nagambie

surrounded by Mount Alexander, Campaspe, Central To Mildura Bendigo Euroa
Goldfields, Macedon Ranges, Loddon, Mitchell and
Strathbogie shires, which see Bendigo as a viable Heathcote
alternative to travelling to Melbourne to access the Maryborough
services they need.
Our location in the geographic centre of Victoria is two Broadford
hours from Melbourne by road or train and a 90-minute
drive from Melbourne Airport. Although easily accessible,
this distance has seen Greater Bendigo develop into a largely
self-contained regional centre, where more than 90 per cent
of the workforce lives locally. Our main industries are healthcare
and social assistance, retail, manufacturing, construction, and
education and training.
Greater Bendigo’s economy is valued at $7.07B5 per annum. Large
employers range from major institutional organisations to private Melbourne

1,2. ABS 2016; 3,4. Based on Victoria in Future 2016; 5. REMPLAN, 2017 5
The answer: Greater Bendigo
The City has a proud history of working with all levels of government and private
industry to deliver essential services and infrastructure to residents.
The projects in this prospectus demonstrate the City’s ability to Our many attributes, such as award-winning restaurants and
plan for the future, setting a benchmark in the Local Government cafes, a celebrated arts and culture scene, a range of festivals
sector as a forward thinking, creative and adaptable organisation. and major events, Qantas flights to Sydney and beyond, quality
recreation facilities, and beautiful heritage and natural surrounds
Our guiding documents include the Community Plan 2017-2021,
also contribute to our brand as a liveable community.
Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2017-2021, Greater
Bendigo Residential Strategy, the award-winning Connecting Greater Bendigo has the vision and capability to continue to drive
Greater Bendigo: Integrated Transport and Land Use Strategy, the development of a strong, diverse economy
Commercial Land and Activity Centre Strategy, Economic and vibrant community life, and looks
Development Strategy, Environment Strategy and Plan forward to building on its successful
Greater Bendigo. history in partnership with others.
Increasingly, Greater Bendigo is acting as a solution for families
and businesses that find living and operating in capital cities
unsustainable. The advent of high speed internet has meant
that people do not have to be in the same city or even
the same country to do business, so this has allowed
them to choose liveability over accessibility.
To ensure Greater Bendigo can support an
expected population of 200,000, there will need
to be approximately 40,000 more jobs created.
One of our highest growth demographics is
25-34 year olds. To ensure these people can
transition through their careers locally, it will
be important to develop ongoing employment
opportunities from entry level through to
senior positions.
The City is also working to establish
Greater Bendigo as a ‘smart city’ and
believes technology will be able to help
improve liveability and solve some of our
local challenges. We are working with La Trobe
University to make data capture easy and cost
effective, so it can then be available for the
community to use and create products or
services from.

Vibrancy and culture
Greater Bendigo’s reputation as a leader in the provision of arts and cultural experiences has been
firmly established over the past decade. The City proudly celebrates its gold rush past and the
people who contributed to shaping our history. We are continually looking for opportunities
to attract people to our region to share in a range of experiences that tell our unique story.

Central Deborah Gold Mine

Bendigo is a city built on gold, with more gold found in the region A contemporary function centre is proposed that can cater for
between 1850 and 1900 than anywhere else in the world. Today, events, weddings and offer a museum and exhibition space,
the poppet heads, grand avenues and historic buildings serve as improved retail space and visitor hub for all Bendigo Heritage
a visual reminder of the richness of the Bendigo goldfield. Attractions experiences, including evening tram services through
the CBD area. It will also have the capacity to host new activities,
The Central Deborah Gold Mine is an authentic interpretation
including jewellery making workshops, gold panning, a play space,
of the historic operations of quartz mining in Bendigo, Victoria’s
performance space and gold miner cage ride.
highest producing goldfield, because it is the only mine left with
the fabric of its historic operation intact. It offers three different The cost breakdown is as follows:
underground tours and a self-guided surface mine tour.
Total project cost – $6M
The Central Deborah Gold Mine is in need of a ‘game changer’ Australian Government – $2M
project that will lift admissions and improve future operations,
Victorian Government – $3M
complementing the tourism offer in Bendigo and central Victoria.
City of Greater Bendigo – $1M

Artist impression: Central Deborah Gold Mine

Left and above: Artist impression of Central Deborah Gold Mine

National Chinese Museum of Australia
The Golden Dragon Museum has a vision to transform Bendigo’s Other – fill an identified gap in Bendigo’s accommodation offering,
Chinese precinct into Bendigo’s Chinatown. provide increased visitation to the National Chinese Museum of
Australia, provide package accommodation options and attract
At the heart of the new Chinatown will be the re-brand and
higher spending markets
expansion of the Golden Dragon Museum, to be known as the
National Chinese Museum of Australia. Demolish current museum building and replace it with a building
To complement the museum is the planned development attached to the new extension (Hibernia Hotel and Elders Room
of a 180-room, 4.5 star hotel. are retained)
Cost – $22.6M, private sector investment
The Golden Dragon Museum is a renowned tourist attraction
in Bendigo that houses a superb collection of antiquities that Economic benefits – 104 full time jobs
are rarely seen outside of China and is home to many parading Other – sustaining visitation to the National Chinese Museum
dragons, including Imperial Dragons Loong, Sun Loong and Dai of Australia and increasing the precinct’s vibrancy
Gum Loong. It is surrounded by the Yi Yuan Gardens, Guan Yin
Temple, and a public gathering and event space.
The museum attracts approximately 35,000 paying visitors a year
and a further 45,000 visitors to the precinct to attend events.
Bendigo has a proud Chinese
Development of Bendigo Chinatown is seen as an investment in history that stretches back to
enhancing cultural relations and further promoting the diversity the gold rush in 1851. By 1854,
of our community. Chinatowns the world over are considered there were approximately 4,000
significant tourism drivers and increasingly have become a Chinese on the goldfields who
reflection of improving strategic connections with China. had come in search of riches.
The Chinese that migrated to
Construction details Bendigo contributed greatly to
There are a significant number of opportunities for the Chinese the development of the city.
precinct to transition to a Chinatown. A three-stage development
is proposed:

Extend current museum building

Visitation – projected visitation to reach 64,000 by year three
Economic benefits – 94 full time jobs during construction, 13 full time
jobs during operation
Total project cost – $16M
Australian Government – $5M
Victorian Government – $10M
City of Greater Bendigo – $1M

Attract and build a high-end hotel

Cost – $54M, private sector funding supported by land incentives
Economic benefits – 316 full time jobs during construction, 105 full
time jobs during operation

Connecting Greater Bendigo
By road, rail and air Greater Bendigo is open for business, however improved infrastructure is
critical to enhance connectivity for residents and improve the visitor experience.

Bendigo Airport Terminal

Bendigo Airport is ready to reach out to the world and from March • Increased visitor expenditure resulting from additional
2019 Qantas will offer a Bendigo to Sydney return service six-days- visitation to the region
a-week. • Time saved not having to travel to Melbourne airports
To enable the airline’s expansion to Bendigo and growth in the for business and leisure passengers
local market, a new terminal building is required to meet current Total project cost – $9.895M
aviation and safety standards.
Australian Government – $4.395M
The project will deliver new passenger facilities, including: Victorian Government – $4.5M
• Arrivals hall City of Greater Bendigo – $1M
• Baggage pick up
• Check in counters Airport rail and fast rail
• Public concourse It is essential that Australian and Victorian governments invest
• Departure lounge in fast rail and that the proposed airport rail link benefits
regional Victoria.
• Retail and food business opportunities
• Administration office Decentralisation is favoured by Australian and Victorian
governments, and investment in infrastructure of this scale
• Business hub/conference room would support these plans.
• Car parking
It is critical that Bendigo is considered as part of any future
• Extension of utilities, which will also support the development upgrades for fast rail and that regional Victoria can access
of a future business park onsite Melbourne Airport, without first having to travel into the
• Essential security requirements, including 3D checked baggage city centre.
and carry-on baggage screening Fast rail ensures that our people, state-wide services and business
The project is estimated to generate up to 40 direct and indirect can thrive with ready access to a reliable service.
local jobs during construction, and 53 jobs throughout the local Rail line duplication between Bendigo and Kyneton will be critical
economy once operating. to support the growth of Bendigo and central Victoria, together
When the Qantas service is operating and the terminal upgrade with any future fast rail or airport link plans.
is complete, a range of economic benefits are expected through:
• Increased income by growth in fee revenue supporting
local employment

Healthy heart of Victoria
The success of a community can largely be attributed to how healthy it is. The City has identified a
range of projects that will enhance the health and wellbeing of residents, which includes how we
will manage our waste into the future.

Aged care funding Regional Resource Recovery Centre

The City is seeking a commitment from the Australian Government A healthy, sustainable community requires a long term waste
regarding reform to the aged care sector and future expectations management solution.
of Local Government to deliver aged care services.
The City operates the Eaglehawk Landfill, the last remaining
Over the last few years, due to increasing costs and changing licenced landfill in the municipality, and the Heathcote,
Australian and Victorian Government policy directions, the City Strathfieldsaye and Goornong transfer stations.
has divested the following services: non-funded transport services,
The Eaglehawk Landfill is due to reach capacity and close by
Community Aged Care packages, Veterans Home Care service,
2021/2022, so alternative facilities need to be planned for,
brokerage service, NDIS and HACCPYP clients, as well as stopping
constructed and operational prior to this date, and the site for
the delivery of weekend services.
a new transfer station also needs to be identified.
Councils’ funding agreements with the Australian Government
Bendigo is the major generator of waste in the Loddon Mallee
will expire by July 2020, however there are indications that this
region. The City has more than 30 historical landfills, ranging
deadline may be pushed back. This is creating some anxiety for
from industrial-scale to makeshift backyard tips, which will need
clients and staff.
to be rehabilitated over the coming years and meet community
Overall policy directions indicate a shift to a consumer-directed expectations and Environment Protection Authority standards.
system of care, a nationally-consistent model and a competitive
The cost breakdown is as follows:
market-based model where Local Government will not be able
to subsidise the service. Eaglehawk Landfill rehabilitation – $7.8M
Should this occur, Local Government may not be in a financial Development of a new transfer station site – $9.5M
position to provide the service. Under a market-based model, Separately, in August 2017 the Victorian Government Environment
private or not-for-profit providers are unlikely to want to operate Minister approved the Loddon Mallee Waste and Resource Recovery
in rural areas due to the distances that would need to be travelled Implementation Plan. This plan identified the need for a regional-
to service clients and their resultant costs. scale waste facility within the southern area of the region, likely
The City is concerned that a lack of clear direction regarding future a waste-to-energy option to maximise resource recovery for
service models may have the potential to increase existing inequities municipal, commercial and industrial waste.
in human service access for rural communities, leading to poorer Total project cost – $30M (approximately)
health outcomes for already identified vulnerable clients.
Australian Government – $12.5M
For the Australian Government to confirm its future plans for aged Victorian Government – $12.5M
care sector reform and expectations of Local Government, and
Local Government – $5M
outline expectations for consistent, adequate service delivery,
particularly in rural areas.

Thriving regional communities
Greater Bendigo includes many productive agricultural areas and small towns and villages,
such as Heathcote, Axedale, Huntly, Marong, Elmore, Kamarooka, Lockwood, Neilborough,
Sebastian, Raywood, Mia Mia and Redesdale. They are renowned for their lifestyle, strong
sense of community and the opportunities they provide for residents, visitors and businesses.

Industrial land development Heathcote Dementia Village business case

The City is working with the Victorian Planning Authority Dementia is the single greatest cause of disability in older
to develop a new Industrial Land Development Strategy. Australians. There are currently no dementia-only care facilities
in Victoria. Heathcote is considered to be an ideal location to
The need for industrial land is essential and urgent to support
develop the village due to its proximity to natural and built
central Victoria’s growing advanced manufacturing sector. The
attractions and a major capital city and regional city, and
local industry is valued at $2.2B per annum and is particularly
ideal climate.
innovative and specialised, exporting products to 50 countries
around the world. A state-of-the-art dementia village would maximise the quality
of life of dementia sufferers by providing a safe and stimulating
The new strategy will build on the significant amount of work
environment. At the same time the village would also serve as
completed over the last 16 years planning for industrial land
a research centre into medical breakthroughs to prevent future
generations suffering from the disease. A business case would
It is challenging to find appropriate sites, particularly for heavy investigate the provision of a 150-place dementia village, including
industry looking to either expand or relocate to Greater Bendigo. a teaching/research/workforce development centre in Heathcote.
The strategy will provide direction for the next 10, 20 and 30 years, The Heathcote Dementia Village Steering Committee has
and its implementation will help secure jobs for a growing regional appointed a consultant to complete the first half of the feasibility
population, retain important skills, reduce land use conflicts and study, which considers stakeholder identification, market analysis,
take freight movements out of central Bendigo. concept and masterplan development, financial assessment,
construction costs and risk analysis.
The new Industrial Land Development Strategy will also allow
the City to take more of a regional approach to the provision Additional funds would investigate Heathcote functioning as
of industrial land. a dementia-friendly community, the green care model and
university research functions.
For the Australian Government to assist with the timely
implementation of the Industrial Land Development Strategy Total project cost – $330,000
to secure employment for a growing population. Australian Government – $150,000
Victorian Government – $150,000 
City of Greater Bendigo – $10,000 
Other – $20,000 

= confirmed funding 17
The pace of change today is the fastest it
has ever been and the slowest it will ever
be again. As a result of this change, it is a
necessity for great cities to be constantly
Bendigo has been a host for innovation since
the gold rush began in 1851, with institutions
like the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank leading
the way. We need to be coming up with
innovative solutions to issues like water,
energy, transport and civic engagement into
the future to realise our vision of liveability.

A City Deal for Bendigo

A City Deal for Bendigo and the wider region will ensure that the
heart of Victoria continues to develop as a place where people
want to live, work, visit and invest because the pipeline of
infrastructure needed for a growing regional city will be built
Continued investment in regional Australia
in a timely manner. The City appreciates the financial support provided by the
Australian Government through the Financial Assistance Grants,
Our City Deal proposition offers something unprecedented – it
Roads to Recovery and the Building Better Regions Fund (and its
encompasses the only current City Deal bid backed by a local
consortia model of governance, with strong local financial and
intellectual investment. The proposal takes full advantage of These funding streams provide regional councils with the funds to
the collaboration happening in Bendigo. The City Deal model deliver important, large-scale infrastructure projects and services
for Bendigo and the wider region is also focussed on sharing the that are both necessary and welcomed. Councils are generally
benefits of a stronger economy across the Bendigo population best placed to do this but need the financial support to do so.
by strengthening skills, enhancing job prospects and reducing
Recently, projects that have benefitted from such funding include
unemployment. Discussions with Australian and Victorian
the Echuca Moama Bridge, Ravenswood Interchange, Gurri
Governments to date have been encouraging and constructive.
Wanyarra Wellbeing Centre, the new Bendigo Airport runway
For the Australian Government to work with the City and its partners and Bendigo Tennis Centre redevelopment.
to negotiate and fund a City Deal that will secure the future of the
Greater Bendigo region for decades to come.

P (03) 5434 6000
E requests@bendigo.vic.gov.au

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