Over 246,000 Victorians live in Loddon Campaspe, which spans six Local Government Areas of Loddon:

Map of Great South Coast including the six local government areas; Campaspe, Greater Bendigo, Central Goldfields, Mount Alexander, and Macedon Ranges.

  • Campaspe
  • Greater Bendigo
  • Central Goldfields
  • Mount Alexander, and
  • Macedon Ranges.

The region's economy is diverse, including services industries, agriculture and food production. It is a major producer of dairy, sheep and beef and is well known for specialised food and drink production. Service industries include finance, insurance, health, professional services and tourism. Bendigo is the major economic hub for the region.

The Loddon Campaspe region includes the traditional lands of the Dja Dja Wurrung peoples. It also includes some of the lands of the Taungurong and Yorta Yorta peoples.

Cultural venues and regular events attract tourists to the region, while the Murray River and the Castlemaine Diggings National Park attract visitors interested in nature-based tourism.

Five topics from the draft strategy relevant to Loddon Campaspe are below. More details are in the topic links. Complete the survey to tell us what you think about the draft recommendations for regional Victoria and Loddon Campaspe.

Draft recommendations

Expand the tabs below to read the draft recommendations for each topic.

Loddon Campaspe residents have:

  • lower rates of internet connection
  • gaps in internet connectivity
  • slower internet speed and
  • less reliable mobile coverage than Melbourne.

One in six Loddon Campaspe households do not have internet access, rising to one in four in Central Goldfields and Loddon shires, compared with one in eight in Melbourne.

This means many people cannot access online services (for example banking, job search, health and social services, and education). Unreliable internet connections can make it hard to do business. Unreliable internet also reduces public access to safety information in times of emergency.

Poor mobile and internet connection have created added barriers during the coronavirus pandemic, particularly for students and workers accessing resources online to learn or work remotely.

What are our draft recommendations?

Draft recommendation 80. Continue to address regional Victoria’s digital connectivity gaps (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

In the next five years, continue delivering regional digital connectivity improvements, and review the need for further government investment following the roll-out of the Digital Future Now initiative.

Draft recommendation 86. Improve resilience of regional telecommunications infrastructure (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

In the next 10 years, develop more resilient regional telecommunications infrastructure so communities can stay safe during emergencies, including greater network redundancy and back-up power supply.

Draft recommendation 87. Fund regional libraries to provide better internet access (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

Immediately provide funding for regional and rural libraries to improve community access to fast, free internet services, leveraging existing library infrastructure.

Complete the survey below to tell us what you think about these draft recommendations.

Loddon Campaspe has a diverse tourism offering:

  • visits to cultural institutions and events, such as Bendigo Art Gallery, Castlemaine State Festival and the Riverboats Music Festival
  • food and wine experiences and
  • nature-based tourism opportunities at the Murray River and the Castlemaine Diggings National Park.

The Loddon Campaspe region has important Aboriginal cultural heritage assets. Rivers and waterways are particularly important heritage sites for the Dja Dja Warrung people, holding economic, social, environmental and spiritual values. Sites include the Loddon, Coliban, Campaspe, Avoca and Avon Rivers, and the Boort, Eppalock and Laanecoorie Lakes.

Co-development of a Victorian Aboriginal tourist strategy with Traditional Owners can help further drive sustainable economic activity and employment in Loddon Campaspe, helping to preserve and promote the region’s Aboriginal cultural histories and heritage sites.

What are our draft recommendations?

Draft recommendation 82. Plan for future investment in regional nature-based tourism infrastructure (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

In the next five years, develop a Victorian nature-based tourism strategy to guide industry development and prioritise further investments.

Draft recommendation 83. Develop a Victorian Aboriginal tourism strategy (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

Partner with Traditional Owners to develop a Victorian Aboriginal tourism strategy in the next five years to guide future Aboriginal tourism investments, including through Joint Management Plans.

Draft recommendation 84. Boost tourism infrastructure by allowing more national parks to grant long leases (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

Attract investment in Victoria’s regional tourism industry by immediately allowing more national parks to grant leases of up to 49 years for infrastructure proposals that meet specific criteria and complement environmental and heritage values.

Complete the survey below to tell us what you think about these draft recommendations.

Patients travel long distances to access healthcare services in rural and regional areas. This can contribute to poor health outcomes in some regional areas.

Healthcare services are now more readily available over the phone and online. This trend has accelerated over the last year. More people in Loddon Campaspe are accessing health care remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Patients now consult with General Practitioners (GPs), specialists and other health providers over the phone and online. Health professionals have used the internet to remotely diagnose and check patients’ health. Delivering more healthcare using technology can give patience more convenient, flexible and quality services.

For those living in rural and remote areas, telehealth could provide greater access to quality care, specialists and allied services can reduce travel.

However, some services still need in-person contact as telehealth is not appropriate in all situations. Mental health is a challenge across the region, for example, with relatively high numbers of mental health clients in all areas except Macedon Ranges. Our recommendations aim collectively to improve access to health services for Loddon Campaspe residents.

What are our draft recommendations?

Draft recommendation 21. Use innovation to deliver better models of healthcare (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

Within five years, help slow the growth in demand for hospital infrastructure by funding a comprehensive statewide health innovation strategy to promote better models of healthcare.

Draft recommendation 72. Co-design an Aboriginal Community-Controlled Infrastructure Plan (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

Immediately commence a co-design process to develop a plan to guide investment in Aboriginal community controlled infrastructure to meet current and future social, economic and cultural needs.

Draft recommendation 75. Deliver infrastructure for a better mental health system (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

Immediately establish a dedicated infrastructure fund to support a better mental health system, building on the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System.

Complete the survey below to tell us what you think about these draft recommendations.

Local governments deliver many social and community services to regional communities. These include:

  • child and family services,
  • aged care,
  • health care services and
  • programs to foster social inclusion and improve wellbeing.

Some regional councils, such as Loddon Shire, have small budgets due to small ratepayer populations. They also need to fund many services to communities spread over a large geographic area. Meanwhile areas such as Bendigo and Macedon Ranges have high population growth, accompanied by growing demand for services.

Many council facilities were designed for a single purpose at a specific point in time. Others are ageing and no longer fit for purpose. This limits service quality, and councils face challenges in managing these facilities well. At the same time, community needs are changing and some facilities no longer meet local needs.

Councils are finding ways to provide facilities that can respond to contemporary needs. This includes building multipurpose service facilities, for example an integrated health and wellbeing building.

Greater Bendigo City Council and Mount Alexander Shire Council have identified opportunities to develop multi-use, shared services facilities, for example Mount Alexander Health and Wellbeing precinct, which will co-locate health professionals, an aquatic facility and hospital services on the one site.

Another solution is to upgrade outdated facilities or give them a new use which matches current community needs. However, many Loddon Campaspe communities have helped raise funds for existing facilities and may have concerns about repurposing these buildings.

What are our draft recommendations?

Draft recommendation 89. Deliver multipurpose shared social service facilities in the regions (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

Immediately undertake collaborative inter-agency planning for regional social services to identify opportunities for multipurpose shared facilities, then deliver them where appropriate in partnership with local governments and community organisations.

Draft recommendation 90. Support regional councils to update, repurpose or retire outdated community infrastructure (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

Fund rural and regional councils in the next five years to update, repurpose and retire outdated community infrastructure for better service delivery.

Complete the survey below to tell us what you think about these draft recommendations.

Now more than ever our state requires more homes for people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Loddon Campaspe has seen a 13% rise in homelessness between 2011 and 2016, the third highest regional growth rate in regional Victoria.

Social housing provides low-income Victorians secure, affordable and appropriate housing. The supply of social housing in Loddon Campaspe is not keeping up with demand. This means that some of our most vulnerable community members are on social housing waiting lists and are experiencing financial stress.

What are our draft recommendations?

Draft recommendation 57. Rapidly renew old public housing (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

Rapidly renew dilapidated public housing properties, with a priority to renew at least half of all older low-rise apartments and older three-bedroom detached dwellings by 2031.

Draft recommendation 94. Expand social housing in regional centres, in locations with good access (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

Focus social housing investments in regional centres, near access to transport and services, to contribute to a target of 4.5 social housing dwellings for every 100 Victorian households by 2031.

Draft recommendation 95. Make social housing suitable for changing local climates (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

Prioritising northern Victoria, continue to deliver a long-term program of modifying social housing to be climate-resilient by improving the energy efficiency and energy affordability of residences.

Complete the survey below to tell us what you think about these draft recommendations.

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Other recommendations related to Loddon Campaspe in the draft strategy

Read the Loddon Campaspe regional priorities summary for other recommendations related to the region.

Shared community facilities in action

Story from Shepparton: a football club also a leadership training hub

The Shepparton Rumbalara Football Netball Club has a long association with the Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-Operative. The club provides a leadership training hub for the local First Nations community, as well as netball training. It provides a range of training, education, health, leadership and social support programs.

Story from Murray: Old hospital turned into a health and wellbeing centre

The Walwa Bush Nursing Centre is in an isolated town on the upper Murray. The facility exists because of a community campaign following the closure of its eight-bed hospital. The facility was transformed with community fundraising and state government grants. The new health and wellbeing centre is a mix of health and community services. It now houses:


  • General Practitioners
  • district nursing
  • home care
  • emergency first response
  • outpatient clinic
  • pharmacy
  • gym
  • community centre
  • IT centre
  • banking services
  • RUM radio
  • community car
  • meals on wheels
  • health services
  • counselling services.

The centre is run by a community owned not-for-profit and has been successfully operating since 2006.