Landowners are being encouraged to help the City of Greater Bendigo develop new industrial land.
A formal expression of interest process has been initiated for land owners eager to engage with the city.
Bendigo strategy and growth director Bernie O'Sullivan said it was the first time in recent times the city had made such a process available.
"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," Mr O'Sullivan said.
It followed informal expressions of interest from land owners as the city was developing its draft industrial land development strategy.
"Quite a number of different land owners came forward," Mr O'Sullivan said.
"We're hoping the formal expression of interest process accompanying the draft strategy brings forward any other land owners."
Councillors on Wednesday endorsed the draft strategy and a draft background report for community consultation.
The new strategy comes after council made an unsuccessful attempt to compulsorily acquire 331 hectares of farming land in Marong last year.
Mr O'Sullivan said council needed appropriately zoned, buffered, serviced and a well located supply of industrial land over the next 30 years.
"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," he said.
"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."
The new draft industrial land strategy will provide a framework for the planning of future industrial land in the Greater Bendigo region.
Mr O'Sullivan said the city was working with the Victorian Planning Authority on a new draft industrial land strategy.
He said no decisions had been made on a new industrial land site or sites for the future.
"The draft strategy will review opportunities within the existing 21 industrial areas," he said.
The last industrial land strategy was completed in 2002. The new draft strategy will recognise business needs have changed with the development of technology, skills, employment trends, freight routes and logistics.
"Times have changed quite significantly since the last strategy was completed in 2002," Mr O'Sullivan said.
"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 most industry jobs are based in Greater Bendigo, providing an important employment hub for the Loddon Campaspe region.
"Another 3300 jobs are forecast to be delivered in industry in Greater Bendigo by 2036," he said.
"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."
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Greater Bendigo's vacant industrial land is expected to run in in 14 years without a new development strategy.
Mr O'Sullivan said if more industrial land could not be developed, the existing 120 hectares of vacant industrial land could run out sooner than 14 years.
"Much of this available land is too close to residential development, in smaller fragmented lots, heavily vegetated or inadequately serviced," he said.
"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."
Victorian Planning Authority executive director of 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.
To submit an expression of interest, click here.
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