Staged development proposal includes exhibition space, car park, commercial area and hotel

While the new Ballarat Railway Station precinct might look a little confusing on paper, the project aims to take advantage of wide open spaces in the area.

Premier Denis Napthine unveils the precinct plans. PICTURE: LACHLAN BENCE

Premier Denis Napthine unveils the precinct plans. PICTURE: LACHLAN BENCE

The centrepiece of the plan is to turn the empty goods shed into an exhibition space with a forecourt for markets at the front of the building. 

A similar forecourt will be built on the other side of the main train station building. 

Commuters, who have long complained about the lack of car parking, can rejoice as the plan includes the potential for a multi-storey car park.

The bus interchange will also be moved to the northern side of the station. 

However, these changes are only the beginning, with the potential for commercial businesses to move into the area, in particular a four-and-a-half-star hotel, restaurants and cafes. 

Two walkways linking the precinct to Mair Street will also be improved with an upgrade to the existing pedestrian underpass linking Mair Street to Scott Parade and the Eastern Oval.

VicTrack property group general manager Ben Needham said the community consultations had been key to the finalising of the plan. 

“We are really excited. The masterp lan has been something that has been on the go for 18 months,” he said. 

“One of the key messages coming through was the connectivity between the station and the area over here (the northern side) and the way the land is under-utilised at the moment.” 

The project is broken up into two stages, with the first stage also split into two separate packages. 

These packages allow the project to be completed separately and may make it more appealing to a government looking to fund the precinct. 

Copies of the plan are available through the City of Ballarat.