The Victorian town of Bendigo is being promoted as a growth hub under a new government strategy to increase investment in the region.
Planning minister Matthew Guy said Bendigo was a thriving town providing a "regional alternative to Melbourne".
“The Loddon Mallee South region is experiencing strong population and economic growth overall,” he said.
“This plan will assist in creating sustainable and viable communities and a strong economy while protecting the valued assets and character of the region,” he said.
The government aims to boost economic diversification in the town, support emerging industries and manage residential growth to limit its impact on the surrounding environment.
Bendigo's strong economic indicators have had positive effects on the property market in the region.
An RP Data analysis found the surrounding Loddon area had the lowest proportion of resales resulting in a loss of anywhere in the country.
Only 2.1 per cent of owners lost money when selling their property, the report found.
According to a different RP Data analysis, Greater Bendigo has seen growth of eight per cent over the 12 months to February.
Meanwhile, Terry Ryder from Hotspotting.com.au identified Bendigo as an “infrastructure hotspot” due to a planned regional rail link, hospital redevelopment, residential building projects and airport upgrade.
“Bendigo has long been one of Victoria’s key regional centres, with solid growth thanks to its steady local economy, proximity to Melbourne and good transport links to the capital – soon to be improved by the $5 billion Regional Rail Link,” Mr Ryder said.
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