Employment, Population And Property Experience Robust Growth
The resilience of the Greater Bendigo economy was showcased during the COVID-19 pandemic, with total employment growing and property prices strengthening, according to official data.
Prior to the outbreak, and the introduction of social lockdown measures to manage the pandemic, employment across all local industry sectors was estimated at 47,905. For June 2021, total employment was estimated at 48,134, an increase of 0.48 per cent.
Above: Greater Bendigo's real gross regional product (GRP) has grown from $5.501 billion in 2008 to $7.936 billion in 2021
While employment in the administrative and support services sector experienced a decline, the retail, accommodation and food services, healthcare and social assistance, and education and training sectors registered an uptick in jobs during the period. Most other sectors remained steady.
The Bendigo Economy
This performance highlights the diversity of the Bendigo economy, which is underpinned by a strong manufacturing sector, the region’s largest industry by economic output at 17.93 per cent (or $3 billion) of total output. Key sub-sectors including defence equipment, engineering and food manufacturing.
Above: Greater Bendigo's key employers include healthcare and social assistance, manufacturing, retail and construction
The regional city also boasts a large health care and social assistance industry, which is the region’s largest employer, supporting 8,695 jobs and representing 18.15 per cent of total employment estimated at 47,905 (representing 1.8 per cent of the 2.73 million people working in Victoria).
Supporting an expanding economy – which has seen real gross regional product (GRP) grow from $5.501 billion in 2008 to $7.936 billion in 2021, the region also features substantial retail (5,781 jobs), construction (4,547 jobs), education and training (4,416 jobs, and accommodation and food services (3,535 jobs) sectors. Tourism supports an estimated 1,585 jobs (3.3 per cent of total employment).
The Bendigo Population
Located in the geographic centre of Victoria, a little under two hours’ drive from Melbourne, the City of Greater Bendigo boasts a growing population of over 121,382, up from 112,267 in 2016.
Above: Greater Bendigo has experienced strong growth in population and building approvals in recent years
With Bendigo as its largest centre, the municipality also includes the thriving smaller communities of Heathcote, Elmore, Goornong, Marong, Redesdale and Axedale. The growing economy and vibrant community make Bendigo an exciting and progressive place to live.
The Bendigo Property Market
Reflecting its popularity, Bendigo has experienced strong growth in both housing and farmland prices.
The latest Corelogic data for the period ending October 2021, shows Bendigo’s median house price jumped 15.82 per cent in the previous 12 months to $573,750. Unit valued rose by an even stronger 17.84 per cent to $495,000 in the period. Weekly median advertised rent sits at $650.
Above: Farmland prices in Greater Bendigo have grown strongly over the past five, 10 and 20 years
Outside the city area, the median price of farmland rose by a cumulative average growth rate (CAGR) of 22 per cent in the five-year period to end of 2021, hitting $10,564 per hectare, and taking the 10-year CAGR to 8.9 per cent and 20-year CAGR to 10.2 per cent. This compares with a five-year CAGR of 11.4 per cent for the entire Northern region of the state, according to the just-released Australian Farmland Values 2022 report.
Things To Do In Bendigo
Bendigo is a vibrant city with all the facilities of a growing contemporary regional centre.
For residents and visitors alike, Bendigo Art Gallery is a must-see, ranking as one of the oldest and largest regional galleries in Australia. See the permanent collection and exciting temporary exhibitions or catch a performance at an historic theatre or at a contemporary venue in the city.
Above: Bendigo Art Gallery is one of the oldest and largest regional galleries in Australia. Image: Visit Victoria
Everywhere you go the city’s 1880’s gold rush wealth is evident in its streetscapes and historic buildings.
Jump on the Bendigo Tramways vintage ‘talking’ tram to explore the historic sights of Bendigo, including Bendigo Joss House Temple and discover more about the faith of the Chinese migrants who came to Bendigo in search of gold.
Above: Jump on the Bendigo Tramways vintage ‘talking’ tram to explore the historic sights of Bendigo. Image: Visit Victoria
Alternatively, visit Bendigo Town Hall and step back into a golden era and experience one of the most remarkable boom-time buildings in Victoria. Or get your hands dirty at Bendigo Pottery, which for more than 150 years has been famous for creating high-quality ceramics.
Image: Bendigo Pottery is famous for creating high-quality ceramics. Image: Visit Victoria
For machinery buffs, discover the unique history of the Sunshine Harvester developed in the Elmore area by Hugh Victor McKay; or visit Central Deborah Gold Mine to check out the tunnels of a real twentieth century gold mine, home of Australia’s deepest underground mine tour.
Outdoors, Bendigo boasts beautiful parks and gardens that host a range of festivals and events, and protect and showcase its historic trees and plantings. There’s also many local swimming pools, including the indoor heated pool at the Peter Krenz Leisure Centre, sporting fields, skate parks and BMX tracks, and more than 50 recreation reserves and over 100 play spaces.
Above: Rosalind Park is among Greater Bendigo's many beautiful public parks and gardens. Image: Visit Victoria
The City of Greater Bendigo has many beautiful and diverse public gardens to enjoy. Many are historic and include relics, historic plantings and significant trees. They include Albert Richardson Reserve, a landscaped park on Marong Road featuring a memorial to the 2009 Victorian bushfires; the Bendigo Botanic Gardens, White Hills which is a beautiful place for the whole community to enjoy; the Bendigo Library Gardens, which is a perfect place to read a good book or meet up with friends in the city; and the Civic Gardens at Bendigo Town Hall, which provides a wonderful green space in the heart of Bendigo’s CBD.
Above: The landmark 19th-century conservatory in Rosalind Park. Image: Visit Victoria
Beyond the city centre, Bendigo is surrounded by a greenbelt of forest. Its natural heritage includes an amazing show of wildflowers each year, a Box-Ironbark forest that supports a rich array of flora and fauna, and mallee eucalypts of the ‘Whipstick Scrub’. This natural heritage provides recreation opportunities for bushwalkers, orienteers, cyclists, birdwatchers, flower enthusiasts, or simply for a Sunday drive.
Above: Beyond the city centre, Bendigo is surrounded by beautiful natural heritage. Image: Visit Victoria
Must-do walks include the Crusoe Reservoir and No. 7 Park where you can wander around the Bendigo Water Works Company structures built to supply Bendigo with drinking water during the gold rush; the Goldfields Track-Leanganook Track where you can follow sections of the Coliban water system and discover historic water races and dissipators; Greater Bendigo National Park which features some of the highest-quality Box-Ironbark forest in north-central Victoria; and Heathcote-Graytown National Park where you can explore gold rush and war era historical features or simply enjoy the solitude of this Box-Ironbark bush setting.
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