Diversity key to economic prosperity.

BENDIGO can rely on its economic diversity to stay strong, according to the Bendigo Business Council.

New calculations on capital city and rest-of-state economic growth shows Melbourne’s at a blistering 4.4 per cent while the rest of the state’s shrank for the fourth consecutive year.

The figures were compiled by SGS Economics and Planning.

BBC member engagement officer Jayson Tayeh said the statistics came as no surprise for his organisation’s members.

“We know that 80 per cent of Australia’s GDP comes from major cities;’ he said.

However, Mr Tayeh argued Bendigo was in a good economic position.

“Bendigo’s great strength is that we have a diverse economy. We are not reliant on one industry or sector and that diversity will continue to be our strength;’ he said.

“The results in the SGS report about … the regional Victorian economy being in decline is largely driven by Geelong – and what happened in Geelong in the last 12 months.”

He said the imminent closure of Geelong’s Ford manufacturing plant coupled with instability on the city’s council had helped drive a decline in its economic performance.

Mr Tayeh said the BBC was working with a number of partner organisations to make sure the city was in a good position to deal with economic conditions and a growing population.

“We have a new mayor who is driving Bendigo’s position as the retail destination of central Victoria. The Bendigo Business Council looks forward to working closely with the City of Greater Bendigo to achieve this;’ he said.

Mr Tayeh called on Bendigonians to think of local retailers when making purchases, particularly during the Christmas period when retailers could expect a busy trade.

“Buying local means that you not only support local businesses, but you are providing greater capacity for the on-flow effect to remain local;’ he said.

“Your support allows business owners to locally invest their success – be it in their business, in neighbouring businesses or simply within local families.

“Buying local puts food on local tables, keeps local doors open and provides a more vibrant and prosperous opportunity to our town and business community.’