Bendigo doing it tough

BENDIGO is more disadvantaged than the state and national average, with Long Gully, West Bendigo and Ironbark the most needy suburbs. 

Figures from 2006 listed on the new City of Greater Bendigo section of profile.id.com.au show Strathfieldsaye, Maiden Gully, the Rural East area and Strathdale residents have the highest income, education, employment and skilled occupation levels. 

Huntly, Kennington, Marong, Rural West, Epsom and Ascot scored higher than the national average, but the remaining suburbs scored lower. 

Long Gully, West Bendigo and Ironbark scored the lowest. 

The Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas calculates the socioeconomic conditions of places based on Census figures. 

A lower number equates to more disadvantage, with the City of Greater Bendigo as a whole scoring 984, below Australia on 1005 and Victoria on 1012.

Long Gully, West Bendigo and Ironbark scored 878, followed closely by North Bendigo and California Gully, and Strathfieldsaye scored 1100.

Foodbank Victoria rural community support officer Brien Baxter said agencies were accessing 10,000 kilograms of rescued food each month in Bendigo. 

“We’re seeing a growing need for food across the state,” he said. 

“Those agencies are requesting more volunteers and increasing their programs. 

“I’d say it was because of cost of living. 

“It’s not necessarily unemployed people or people on government benefits, it can also be single income families seeking food.”

Data for 2011 is expected to be released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in March.

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