REGIONAL Development Victoria will immediately begin planning and governance arrangements to enable the redevelopment of the Ballarat Station precinct to commence 'as soon as possible', the Victorian Government announced this week.
On Friday, Premier Daniel Andrews joined Regional Development Minister Jaala Pulford to discuss a $25 million strategy that aims to revive the precinct and secure its future. It follows the release of the Ballarat Station Precinct Master Plan in July last year.
According to the government, redevelopment works will clear the whole site, refurbish the Goods Shed and pave the way for a 4-star hotel and convention centre. The project will receive funding from the Victorian Government's Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund.
"We're not wasting a single minute. Planning works will start straight away, so that we can get this project off the ground as soon as possible," Mr Andrews said.
The Master Plan, which was developed by VicTrack, the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure, Public Transport Victoria, Regional Development Victoria and the City of Ballarat, covers the railway station site as well as a broader non-transport area bounded by Mair, Lydiard, Peel and Nolan streets as well as Scott Parade.
The Master Plan was divided into two stages to provide a realistic staged public and private investment strategy, delivery of. The short-term stage (2014-2023) includes improvements to the station, station forecourts and the transport and movement network, such as a new bus interchange north of the station, an upgrade to Mair Street, a new southern station forecourt and formalised commuter car parking.
The first stage also involves the refurbishment and re-use of the heritage Goods Shed to accommodate new uses, such an exhibition or performing arts facility, with associated commercial spaces.
The medium to longer term stage (2024+) includes "commercial and residential facilities, which will be driven and delivered by the private sector, leveraging off the catalyst investment in the Precinct by the government."
For the second stage, the Master Plan identifies mixed use development to the south of the railway line on Mair Street, mixed use development above car parks and enhanced connections and landscape works between Mair Street and the southern station forecourt.
More information about the Ballarat Station Precinct Master Plan is available from the City of Ballarat website at <http://www.ballarat.vic.gov.au/pbs/city-strategy/strategic-projects-and-frameworks/current/ballarat-station-precinct-master-plan.aspx>.