A new draft industrial land development strategy has been endorsed by the City of Greater Bendigo Council to provide a framework for the planning of future industrial land in Greater Bendigo and to invite landowners to participate in an expression of interest as part of the process.
City of Greater Bendigo Director Strategy and Growth Bernie O’Sullivan said the City was working with the Victorian Planning Authority on a new draft industrial land strategy, which recognised that business needs had changed in regards to technology, skills, employment trends, freight routes and logistics.
“Times have changed quite significantly since the last strategy was completed in 2002. This new strategy will provide a proactive direction for the development of industrial land in Greater Bendigo so that the municipality is in a strong position to accommodate businesses wanting to relocate here and those wanting to expand existing operations,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
“The majority of industry jobs are based in Greater Bendigo, providing an important employment hub for the Loddon Campaspe region. Another 3,300 jobs are forecast to be delivered in industry in Greater Bendigo by 2036. Manufacturing and construction account for nearly a third of Greater Bendigo’s economic output so this is an opportunity to attract new businesses and retain existing ones.”
Victorian Planning Authority Executive Director Regional Victoria, Brett Davis, said the strategy would help Bendigo capitalise on its significant economic opportunities.
“Bendigo is a booming jobs hub, and this strategy and accompanying expressions of interest process will help Bendigo attract new businesses, boosting its local economy,” he said.
Mr O’Sullivan said that 120 hectares of vacant industrial land supply was estimated to run out in around 14 years or sooner if land could not be developed.
“Much of this available land is too close to residential development, in smaller fragmented lots, heavily vegetated or inadequately serviced. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find suitable locations for businesses, particularly those looking at one hectare sites and over. Land sizes between one to five hectares will be fully exhausted by 2027 at the latest, which means that Greater Bendigo could miss out on future job opportunities.
“The draft strategy will review opportunities within the existing 21 industrial areas. No decisions have yet been made on a site or sites for the future. Alongside the draft strategy process, we are inviting landowners to participate in an expression of interest process to gauge if there is potential available land that could be appropriately zoned for industrial land use in the coming years.
“This is a voluntary process and we’d like to hear from landowners with land that meets a set of specific land criteria and who may be thinking about their property’s future use. The land criteria involves large blocks of land greater than 30 hectares within 15km of the city centre or greater than 100 hectares located further than 15km from the city centre.
“If the property meets the first stage criteria, further assessment will be required and we will work closely with willing landowners throughout later stages to see if the land is suitable.
“We need appropriately zoned, buffered, serviced and a well located supply of industrial land over the next 30 years. We are inviting landowners to submit expressions of interest and for the community to provide feedback on the draft strategy.”