The Loddon Mallee region is located in Victoria’s North West, covering almost 59,000 square kilometres, or 26 per cent, of the state of Victoria with a population of approximately 324,000. A mix of peri-urban and rural communities, it includes the major regional centres of Bendigo, Mildura, Echuca and Swan Hill.

The ten local government areas in the region are Buloke, Campaspe, Central Goldfields, Gannawarra, Greater Bendigo, Loddon, Macedon Ranges, Mildura, Mount Alexander and Swan Hill.

What's our role in crime prevention?

The region supports the Youth Crime Prevention Grant projects in partnership with community organisations, local government, Victoria Police and the courts. Regional staff also represent the Department of Justice and Community Safety on a variety of community committees dealing with crime and safety across the region. This includes the Bendigo Safe Cities forum, the Central Business District working group, the Maryborough Go Goldfields Group and Hands up Mallee in Mildura.

What’s on in our region?

Second Chance

Launched in 2016, Second Chance is currently being funded through the Youth Crime Prevention Grants (External link) program.

Second Chance is a partnership project led by employment and training service CVGT Australia to provide a diversionary health, education and employment support program in the municipality of Greater Bendigo.

The project aims to reduce the custodial sentencing and recidivism of up to 70 young people aged 17 to 24 years appearing before the Bendigo Magistrates' Court. The project works to initially stabilise the basic needs of clients, such as housing, benefit arrangements and access to health services, and then connect them with training and employment opportunities.

Overall the program has placed 34 clients into education and/or employment, of which 22 have competed the course or maintained their employment for at least 13 weeks.

In one case from the project, a Victoria Legal Aid lawyer described working with a client after a high number of serious offences who, prior to being in custody, had experienced drug issues, a lack of accommodation and was unemployed. With the support of Second Chance, he found accommodation with other young people who were all employed, engaged successfully in drug counselling through youth support services YSAS and found employment as a concreter.  When he returned to court, the sentencing Magistrate credited his participation in the project with avoiding imprisonment.

Spotlight on a project

Mildura Rural City Council recently held an event to showcase 17 new CCTV cameras installed in the riverfront precinct and CBD. The event was attended by media, the Mayor and councillors, Victoria Police and local traders.

The new cameras were funded through a $234,393 Public Safety Infrastructure Fund grant (External link) awarded in 2017, with council working closely with police to secure local support for the installation of the cameras. The additional cameras increase the Mildura’s CCTV network to 45 cameras in total.

The new cameras will help to improve community perceptions of safety and help police tackle crime and antisocial behaviour in the CDB and along the riverfront precinct.

Police officers and council members stand in front of a CCTV camera.

Photo: Cr Simon Clemence Mayor of Mildura Rural City Council, Inspector John Nolen from Victoria Police, Mark Eckel councillor for Mildura Rural City Council and Superintendent John O'Connor from Victoria Police.

Regional contact information

The region delivers a range of services through Justice Service Centres in Bendigo, Echuca, Mildura and Swan Hill and at outreach locations in Kyneton, Maryborough, Castlemaine, Kerang and Robinvale.

Three prisons are located in the Loddon Mallee region: Loddon Prison, Middleton and Tarrengower Prison.

Regional contact for crime prevention initiatives:
Tom Wills
General Manager Community Services, Loddon Mallee Region
Email: Thomas.wills@justice.vic.gov.au (External link)
Phone: (03) 5440 6100
Mobile: 0429 956 271