BALLARAT City Council might call on the state government to fast-track planning of the Ballarat West Employment Zone.
The 623-hectare site, next to the Ballarat Airport, is forecast to create 9000 jobs and about $5 billion in economic output for Ballarat.
Council officers have called for a planning amendment to allow the project timeline to be pushed forward.
This would help to ensure “leverage opportunities” from the Ballarat Western Link Road, construction of which is set to begin soon.
But in order to fast-track the project, some community consultation would have to be dropped.
Under a standard planning process, the project master plan would go out for another round of public exhibition, which would take at least nine months to complete.
Councillors will vote on the initiative at their ordinary meeting tomorrow night.
The Ballarat West Employment Zone is one of three interrelated projects in Ballarat West planned to accommodate the city’s population growth.
Along with the Ballarat West Growth Area and the Ballarat Western Link Road, it aims to ensure the city can accommodate population growth in a sustainable manner, capitalise on investment opportunities and improve the efficiency of transportation.
The officers said the three projects in Ballarat West had direct relationships, were located in a common geographic area and were inter-dependent.
The state government last year announced $835,000 in funding and involvement of Major Projects Victoria to deliver a construction blueprint for the Ballarat West Employment Zone site and make it shovel ready for construction and investment. The council is investing funding of $835,000 to match the state contribution.
It comes as planning for the Ballarat West Growth Area nears completion, with development of new suburbs in the growth area also under way.
Once completed, the Ballarat West Growth Area will deliver homes for more than 40,000 people and provide at least 30 years’ residential land supply.