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Affordable housing in Rochester key to plan

The newly-launched Loddon Mallee North Regional Growth Plan shows the creation of affordable housing and job opportunities in Rochester as key features.

July 10, 2014 3:59am

Creating affordable housing and job opportunities in Rochester are key features of the newly-launched Loddon Mallee North Regional Growth Plan.

The plan, which involves Campaspe, Buloke, Gannawarra, Mildura and Swan Hill councils, is a long-term vision for managing growth and change and protecting liveability in the region.

Campaspe Shire councillor Leigh Wilson welcomed the plan, which he said would highlight the chances available in the town to attract business and future job creation.

‘‘We have natural gas, our geographic location is fantastic and our road network and linkages to larger towns is ideal,’’ Cr Wilson said.

‘‘We also have an upgraded water treatment facility which reinforces our ability to support business and residential growth.’’

Cr Wilson said council zoning policies would help to create affordable housing by encouraging appropriate planning and subdivision developments.

‘‘We encourage diversity, so we would require a large subdivision to have a mix of smaller and larger lots and increase density in existing, built-up areas,’’ he said.

Cr Wilson said the plan brought together state and local government and regional communities.

‘‘This plan is a resource for government departments and private enterprise when they are looking at expanding operations and creating new businesses, so if a large business is looking to expand their operations and if we align with the requirements, it’s easier for them to get government subsidies and set up their operation,’’ he said.

Although Rochester was part of the Loddon Mallee North Regional Growth Plan, Cr Wilson said the town was also mentioned in the Loddon Mallee South Regional Growth Plan due to its location.

This was significant as it highlighted Rochester’s importance in the transport link to Bendigo and could possibly lead to a second train service between the towns in the next few years, he said.

‘‘There are dozens of people from Rochester who travel to BRIT and LaTrobe (University) in Bendigo,’’ he said.

‘‘If we can reduce the number of people on the roads and get them on the trains, we get kids off the road, making it safer for all, it makes travel more affordable and it will lower carbon emissions.’’

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