THE fate of two rezoning proposals that would open up the city’s eastern entrance to a major employment precinct will again be considered by Ballarat City Council.
Councillors will tonight decide whether to revise the Woodmans Hill Gateway Precinct Master Plan to incorporate a Rivers Australia development and a second development site between Brewery Tap Road and Orchard Lane.
Rivers Australia has lodged an application for a large-scale resort, warehouse and shop, securing 400 jobs for Ballarat, while local businessmen Andrew Maher and Trevor Wilson are also seeking to rezone their site between Brewery Tap Road and Orchard Lane.
The council was poised to support the plans last month and Rivers managing director Jeff Quick confirmed Rivers Australia’s high level of commitment to the project.
But the decision was deferred after a group of residents and business owners raised concerns about possible environmental, traffic and amenity impacts to the area.
The planned Rivers’ proposal would be known as Rivers Park.
A report to the council said the development represented a direct investment of $50 million, creating significant flow-on economic benefits.
“This development will support a total of 400 jobs in Ballarat, securing the existing 194 local Rivers (Australia) Pty Ballarat positions and adding 206 additional new jobs to the local workforce,” the report said.
It comes after up to 25 workers were believed to have been made redundant at Rivers Australia’s Ballarat operations last month.
A proposed development site between Brewery Tap Road and Orchard Lane will also go before the council.
It comes after a planning application from Pipecon Pty Ltd for a depot in the area was recently refused based on its incompatibility with the rural living zone.
The current master plan does not support rezoning, highlighting the rural landscape character and high quality agricultural values of the area.