THE push for a centralised youth hub in Camp Street has been questioned by YMCA Ballarat chief executive officer Mal Healy.
Mr Healy has called for more Ballarat youth programs to be provided in local neighbourhoods, warning against a one-size-fits-all approach to planning for future services.
Young Ballarat leaders have collectively called for better centralised services for young people and the Ballarat City Council is hoping to secure state government funding for a feasibility study into a youth precinct by late this year or early 2014.
Mr Healy said there were advantages to a central "hub", but it should not come at the expense of growing programs and activating sites in surrounding suburbs.
He said a hub and satellite model would capitalise on the various areas of interest of young people.
"We could be looking to really activate the skate parks or expand our programs at Wendouree and Delacombe," he said."It's taking it to where the young people are, not reliant on young people coming to a central hub."
"Too often we put teenagers in the too hard basket - if we turn that on its head and ask how we engage young people with these opportunities, that may stop any of the antisocial stuff people claim they're seeing."
Mr Healy said there were growing calls from kids for sporting and recreational activities to be delivered in their own communities, where they were not reliant on transportation to participate.
Camp Street is already home to youth services, educational facilities and a range of amenities for young people.
But the council recently moved its youth services team into the Ballarat Library, following the closure of its former Youth Head Quarters (YHQ) in May after the lease on its Armstrong Street South building expired.
Earlier this month, the council's learning and diversity manager, Jenny Fink, said YHQ did not meet the needs of the council's youth services provision due to its isolated location and occupational health and safety issues.
Moving into the library freed up more staff to deliver services out in the community, she said.
The council's 2013-14 budget only mentions the word "youth" twice, while the council plan commits to implementing a new "youth strategy" by 2017.