Rivers plan revised with fewer jobs than expected

BALLARAT City Council mayor Joshua Morris said the former Rivers Park development at Woodmans Hill could still go ahead, but with fewer jobs than expected. 

It comes just days after Ballarat City Council officers were told the proposed development would not continue in its current form. 

Last Friday, the council released the agenda for  tomorrow’s  meeting, which called for the warehousing component of the Rivers Park development to be dropped. 

In October, Rivers Australia said the Woodmans Hill development would create 400 new jobs in Ballarat. 

But yesterday Cr Morris said if the motion was carried at Wednesday’s council meeting, not all of those new jobs would be created. 

“It is unlikely that we are going to have as many jobs as initially expected in the first development proposed,” Cr Morris said. 

“We are confident that any development will create jobs and benefit the Ballarat economy.” 

Cr Morris did not know how many jobs would be available for the prospective development. 

“I could not quantify the number of jobs at this stage. I do not know what form (the project) is going to take,” he said. 

Specialty Fashion Group (SFG), who took over Rivers Australia for $5 million in December, said it had been left in the dark about the council’s decision to review the proposed development. 

“We were completely unaware of it ... this is news to me,” SFG chief executive Gary Perlstein said. 

“The owner must have new and different plans for the site.” 

Cr Morris said he personally had not been in discussions with SFG. 

SFG said 180 Rivers employees in Ballarat would continue their jobs as normal and said that decision had not changed since the takeover in December. 

“The job situation remains the same,” Mr Perlstein said. 

Rivers Australia currently owns the land for the proposed site at Woodmans Hill.

kara.irving@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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