Premier announces $1.25m facelift for Ballarat Railway Station

BALLARAT Railway Station’s north building is set to have a $1.25 million facelift, after an announcement by Victorian Premier Denis Napthine yesterday.

Funded through station management body VicTrack’s heritage program, the work is part of the Ballarat Station Precinct Master Plan to develop the whole area.

Part of the work on the north building will see the demolition of a 1930s extension, which will be replaced by the original entrance portico.

The restoration work will  involve the repair of the building’s facade as well as the restoration of its original doors and decorative windows.

Dr Napthine said the railway station was vital to Ballarat, particularly with increased demand for train and coach services.

He said the precinct had enormous potential that was currently underutilised.

“This is a magnificent historical precinct. They are great buildings, with great history and great significance to the Ballarat community,” he said.

As well as the restoration works, the western end of the north building will undergo a fit-out with a view to attracting a commercial tenant to the site. 

The work is set to begin in February. It is expected to be completed by the middle of the year.

Dr Napthine said access to the station would not be affected during the redevelopment work. 

Ballarat mayor Joshua Morris said it was a great announcement that could provide an economic boost to Ballarat through tourism.

“We all know that Ballarat is a significant heritage city and to see more investments and ensuring that heritage does move forward is very exciting,” he said. 

When asked for his response to Labor’s proposed weekend Melbourne-to-Ballarat late-night shuttle bus, Dr Napthine said the promise was underfunded and poorly directed. 

“What we are doing, in contrast to looking after late-night party goers, is look after commuters on a daily basis,” he said.