Transport a ticket to Bendigo transformation

Transport impacts on everyone. It is the essential link in our lives between family, friends, employment and recreation. 

To plan for the future, the City of Greater Bendigo is embarking on an Integrated Transport and Land Use Strategy. This will be a long-term planning document that looks at where people live, work and visit, how freight moves around and how we ensure the growth of the city strongly aligns with improved transport connections.

The council’s role is to provide a plan that informs the relevant agencies by identifying competing needs, demands, views and wants with respect to Bendigo’s future. 

It is to clarify roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders – the providers funding, the decision makers, the deliverers of infrastructure, including Department of Transport, Public Transport Victoria and VicRoads – in the strategy’s progress. 

The council has no direct jurisdiction over public transport such as bus or train services. Generally, major transport infrastructure developments are the responsibility of the state and federal governments. We can however, lobby with the service providers, through an agreed strategy for improvement of service delivery, based on community needs and aspirations. 

The challenge is to deliver a workable strategy that responds to the impending population growth in a positive and constructive way. 

To that effect, the council will be looking to local residents  and businesses to think about their daily comings and goings as something that has a role to play in the way Greater Bendigo continues to evolve as an attractive place to live, to do business, to visit and to enjoy. 

The basis for embarking on this journey is the need to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to Bendigo’s transport and land use future.

Different responsibilities lie with various government levels, departments and agencies to ensure that we have the infrastructure, processes and systems in place that enable the city to function. It is the Greater Bendigo community’s aspiration for a certain lifestyle and economy, our desire for improved health and amenity; and its relationship with future generations that will play a defining role in developing and delivering the Bendigo Integrated Transport and Land Use Strategy. 

Critical to the long-term success of the strategy is both community acceptance of and input into its development, as well as its implementation. 

It will require discussion and agreed aspirations for the physical form of our city that will directly inform the best transport solution. Discussion about the types of houses we live in; the way we travel for our daily needs; the way goods are transported into, through and around Bendigo. 

But it goes further to the businesses that exist and how they freight goods, the impact of daily movement on health and wellbeing and simple locations we need to get between for our jobs, schooling, recreation and health needs.

Regional cities like Bendigo are undergoing a significant transformation. Urban communities and neighbourhoods in regional settings that enjoy the benefits of centralised investment in education, infrastructure, arts, community facilities and open spaces. 

In Bendigo’s context this translates to jobs and a liveable city that is attracting new residents, families, students and businesses.

Bendigo is uniquely positioned. It is a regional city located the right distance from a metropolitan centre. The city has great access to regional landscapes and bush and has experienced sustained population growth amongst its renowned heritage setting. 

Bendigo’s local economy has transitioned from a largely agricultural production service centre to a strong diverse economy. Bendigo’s connectivity to Melbourne and its region, particularly through investment in both road, rail and soon NBN, have transformed the way in which Bendigo is perceived. 

It is a proud regional city with strong local relationships and connections that extend to a global scale.

With community input and support from other levels of government, this strategy will identify how we want to move around our city and the change needed in our neighbourhoods, villages and city centres to make it happen.

Nick Byrne,

strategy manager, 

City of Greater Bendigo

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