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Regional Development Victoria

Loddon Campaspe Regional Partnership

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Our region
Our Regional Partnership: bringing you up to date
Our Regional Partnership: latest news
Our Regional Partnership members
Have your say
Our Regional Partnership Priorities
Budget 2018/19 outcomes

Our region

Our region in central Victoria covers an area with a diverse population and a buoyant economy based on agriculture, retail, health, property and manufacturing. Bendigo, one of Victoria’s largest and fastest growing regional cities, lies at the heart of the region and is a prosperous and vibrant hub of cultural and economic activity. Many migrant and refugee communities have settled nearby.

Our region includes:

Map of the Wimmera-Southern Mallee partnership region

Our Regional Partnership: bringing you up to date

The Loddon Campaspe Regional Partnership is one of nine Partnerships across the state, established by the Victorian Government, recognising that local communities are in the best position to understand the challenges and opportunities faced by their region.

We started work in 2016 and held our first public Assembly in Bendigo in October 2016.  Following this, we presented the priorities which came from our first Assembly to Government.

The 2017/ 18 Victorian Budget brought outcomes for the Loddon Campaspe region including:

  • $91 million for the Bendigo and Echuca line upgrades to run faster trains, an extra daily service to Echuca, and deliver Bendigo Metro Stage 2 with more services to Epsom and Eaglehawk;
  • The $45 million Connecting Regional Communities Program which will bring better broadband, mobile coverage and WiFi hubs to regional Victoria;
  • $150,000 for a business case for the Healthy Heart initiative;
  • Funding to plan for a third Gov Hub in Bendigo.

Find out more about the Victorian Budget 2017/18 outcomes for Victoria's regions

We held our second Regional Assembly, also in Bendigo, in August 2017.

Partnership newsletter

Loddon Campaspe Regional Partnership newsletter - March 2018

Regional Assembly snapshot


The Partnership has since taken the learnings from our 2017 Assembly and distilled these into priorities to present to Government.

Our 2017 Regional Priorities can be found here.

Our 2018 Assembly will be held in Kyneton on Thurs 3 May. Click here for more information and to register to attend.

Who are the Loddon Campaspe Regional Partnership members?

Nigel McGuckian

Nigel McGuckian – Chair

Nigel McGuckian has extensive experience in management consulting throughout rural Australia.  Nigel is on boards, including Dja Dja Wurrung Enterprises, Bendigo Orienteers, Otis Foundation and chairs advisory boards for large scale family farms. Nigel strives to achieve prosperity in rural communities.

Marnie Baker

Marnie Baker - Deputy Chair

Marnie Baker is the Chief Customer Officer for Bendigo and Adelaide Bank. A professional and motivated executive, Marnie is passionate about the role communities play in the economic and social fabric of Australia and brings extensive commercial, technical and strategic experience from her 28 years in the financial services sector.

Kate Burke

Dr Kate Burke

Dr Kate Burke runs Think Agri, which provides strategies for profitable and sustainable farm businesses and agricultural investments.  As a country kid with a PhD, Kate is passionate about opportunities for regional youth and enjoys promoting agriculture as a career path and life in the regions.

Rodney Carter

Rodney Carter

Rodney Carter is the Group Chief Executive Officer for Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation and Dja Dja Wurrung Enterprises Pty Ltd. He has been a member of the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council since its inception.  He is a local traditional owner with deep cultural connections to much of the region.  Rodney is enthusiastic about expanding the tourism offering of our region to support skills and opportunities for our communities to participate.

Robyn Lindsay Robyn Lindsay

Robyn Lindsay is Executive Director (Acute Health) at Bendigo Health.  She holds a Bachelor of Physiotherapy and Masters in Health Sciences. Robyn has also completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors course.  Robyn has extensive experience in health service provision and planning and is actively involved in preparing for the opening of the new Bendigo Hospital.

David Richardson

David Richardson

David Richardson is Manager of Regional Partnerships for Deakin University in Bendigo, engaging with industry, local government and the community. He holds a MBA and involved in a number of boards spanning business, water, the arts and higher education. David is passionate about economic development opportunities that help build resilient regional communities.

Richard Speed

Prof Richard Speed

Prof Richard Speed is the Pro Vice Chancellor (Regional) at La Trobe University.  Richard is committed to increasing higher education aspiration, participation and success in regional Victoria.   He currently serves as a Director with the Bendigo Business Council.


Regional Development Australia representative

Linda BeilharzLinda Beilharz OAM
Linda Beilharz OAM is the current chair of the Loddon Mallee Regional Development Australia Committee.  Linda has extensive regional experience in community development and health promotion through previous employment at St Luke’s and Women’s Health Loddon Mallee. Linda chairs several other groups and has interests in the outdoors and aviation.

Victorian Government representative

Gillian Miles - Head, Transport for Victoria - Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources

Local government CEOs

Jason Russell
Jason Russell – CEO, Campaspe Shire Council

Jason Russell is currently the Chief Executive Officer at the Shire of Campaspe and has worked in local government for 7 years, most recently as CEO at Gannawarra Shire Council.  Jason spent four years working closely with 10 Victorian and NSW Councils along the Murray River as the Executive Officer for a federally funded regional development body. Prior to this Jason had more than 12 years in the funds management industry.  Currently Jason is a Director of Murray Regional Tourism and a member of the Executive for Rural Councils Victoria.

Lucy Roffey
Lucy Roffey – CEO, Central Goldfields Shire Council

Lucy Roffey is an executive leader, with a mix of financial and corporate skills combined with public, private and community expertise, and demonstrated success in bringing strategy, leadership and transformation to organisations. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Prior to working in Local Government, Lucy was senior executive at the Australian Centre of the Moving Image, attracting a $20 million investment from the State Government in the redevelopment of the Centre and its programming to deliver high calibre exhibitions and experiences that were and continue to be valued by both the Victorian community and international tourists.

Margot Stork

Margot Stork – CEO, Macedon Ranges Shire Council

Ms Stork was appointed CEO in November 2017.

Ms Stork was awarded the prestigious NSW State Government Ministers’ Award for a Senior Woman in a rural/regional council in March 2017. She has a strong background in leadership, stakeholder management and manor project management at local and state government levels. Her qualifications include law, economics, accounting, business management, commercial law, project management and public relations.

Darren Fuzzard Darren Fuzzard – CEO, Mount Alexander Shire Council

Darren was recently appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Mount Alexander Shire following five years as Director – Presentation & Assets at the City of Greater Bendigo and five years as Director – Operations at Loddon Shire Council. Darren’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Civil Engineering and prior to joining Local Government he spent 11 years in VicRoads working on large infrastructure projects and programs across regional Victoria and in Melbourne.

Craig Niemann Craig Niemann – CEO, City of Greater Bendigo

Mr Niemann joined the City of Greater Bendigo in October 2005. He has more than 25 years of experience working in the local government sector including roles at the Borough of Eaglehawk and the Shire of East Loddon. 

Prior to joining the City of Greater Bendigo, Mr Niemann was Chief Executive Officer of the Loddon Shire from 1997 to 2005.

Mr Niemann has also served on the board of the North Central Regional Goldfields Library for 10 years and board member of the Inglewood and District Health Service for more than 10 years.

Phil Pinyon Phil Pinyon – CEO, Loddon Shire Council

Phil Pinyon has had an extensive Local Government career, holding varied positions in Councils across Australia in five states/territories.  Phil has served on a number of different boards and he is currently CEO of Loddon Shire Council. This broad experience, much of which has been in regional Australia, provides Phil with a unique perspective on matters relevant to his current role. Phil holds a Graduate Diploma in Public Sector Management and a MBA.

Have your say

Our Loddon Campaspe Regional Partnership engage page is the place to go to let us hear your views or to contact the Partnership.


Loddon Campaspe Regional Partnership 2017 Priorities

Theme Regional Partnership Priority
A Connected Region                                                                                                   
The people in Loddon Campaspe region want to be better connected. They want great transport connections with increased rail services, faster trains and reliable access to internet so their travel time can be both productive and enjoyable. The region also wants reliable internet access and connectivity. Our people view digital connectivity as an essential service for business, education and a growing economy.
As a region we would like to support our communities to achieve real change in preventable health issues. We have high levels of obesity and the rates of avoidable deaths among people aged less than 75 from cancer and heart disease are the highest in the State. Getting physically active is one way to change this. Our aim is to encourage more people, to be more active, more often!
Create the Best Possible Start for Every Child
In the Loddon Campaspe region a large number of children are entering school with developmental delays in language and literacy. The Regional Partnership wants to promote the importance of reading and speaking to children as this lays the foundations for literacy skills and helps create the important bonds for children to develop.
Supporting Youth – Our Critical Asset
Our youth are our critical asset for the future of the region – so as a community, we need to take care of them. Mental health issues amongst our youth are on the rise, so now more than ever, they need to have supportive relationships, connection to their community and positive role models to help build resilience and grit to face the many challenges..
A Growing Economy
Our region has some very unique qualities that make it a great place to live, work and invest. Many community leaders and business people want to see our region continue to grow from both a population and investment position. In order for this to happen, we need to capitalise on our strengths and opportunities so that our economy thrives.
A Great Environment to Live In
Bendigo and many other towns in the Loddon Campaspe region are surrounded by stunning natural forests.  We want to explore better ways of interacting, using and taking care of our bush so that it can be here for future generations to enjoy and explore. 

Our region also wants to see the creation of a network of regional trails across the Loddon Campaspe Region to support healthy and active lifestyles, appreciation of the natural environment and development of a strong tourism experience for people visiting our region.

Loddon Campaspe Partnership priorities supported in the Victorian Government Budget 2018/19 include:

  • $5 million towards Healthy Heart of Victoria program, including funding for the Heart of Victoria Active Living Census, the Loddon Campaspe Active Communities infrastructure program, and health and wellbeing brokers to build capacity and health and wellbeing throughout the region.
  • $2.1 million to pilot a new land management partnership between Traditional Owners and the state through the Walking Together initiative.
  • $130 million for rail infrastructure upgrades from Maryborough and Ararat to Ballarat
  • $59.9 million to revitalise the Bendigo Kangan Institute - Bendigo City Campus.
  • $16 million to build the Bendigo GovHub to accommodate current and new public service jobs.
  • $11.8 million for Castlemaine Secondary College to continue ongoing staged works, including the completion of the performing arts precinct
  • $10.2 million to support construction of a reticulated water supply to service the area surrounding the town of Mitiamo
  • Funding to acquire land for the new multi-jurisdictional Bendigo Law Court.

Click here to download the Loddon Campaspe Regional Partnership 2018/19 Budget Fact Sheet for more information. (PDF 478.4 KB)

Find out more about the Victorian Budget 2018/19 outcomes for Victoria's regions

© Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, State Government of Victoria

Last Updated: 04 May 2018