BALLARAT’S railway station precinct is a step closer to a huge revitalisation project including a “Southern Cross Station-style walk bridge” from the station to Camp Street.
The state government yesterday announced funding to help the City of Ballarat develop a master plan for the project.
Regional Cities Minister Denis Napthine was in Ballarat for the announcement and took a guided tour of the site with Ballarat mayor John Burt, City of Ballarat CEO Anthony Schinck and a number of other key stakeholders.
Dr Napthine said over the next six months, the City of Ballarat and stakeholders including the Department of Transport, VicTrack, V/Line, bus operators, and Heritage Victoria would work to develop a “transport hub master plan”.
“The Ballarat Station is a CBD landmark and one of the grandest Victorian era station buildings in the state,” Dr Napthine said.
“However, the coalition government and the City of Ballarat recognise that there are issues with under-utilised land, lack of parking and connections to the CBD.
“We believe the whole area can be transformed, giving locals a more functional facility and leaving visitors with a lasting and positive first impression of the city.”
In preparing the master plan, the City of Ballarat will establish the future operational requirements of the site, how to enhance the station and precinct as a major CBD entrance, determine whether parts of the site could be open to redevelopment for different uses, work to enhance the heritage qualities of the station building and focus on innovative ways to redevelop the hub.
Cr Burt said yesterday’s announcement was a crucial step forward in one of Ballarat’s key strategic projects.
“We’ve now got the funding to do what we need to do to encompass the growth of this very valuable piece of land,” Cr Burt said.
“This is a very significant step forward and will develop a vision for the precinct for the next 100 years.”
The state government will contribute $75,000 from its Regional Growth Fund, while $50,000 will come from the City of Ballarat’s CBD strategy fund Making Ballarat Central.
The remaining $175,000 will be provided by VicTrack.