THE Ballarat West Employment Zone received a substantial boost yesterday as Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu used his government’s regional growth fund to provide $835,000 for a construction blueprint.
With matching funding from the City of Ballarat, the $1.67 million is expected to make the zone shovel-ready for construction and investment.
Speaking at an Australian Industry Group lunch in Ballarat yesterday, Mr Baillieu said regional cities and development zones like Ballarat West were helping drive Victoria’s economy, producing one third of the state’s exports.
“The City of Ballarat has already adopted a master plan for the new employment zone, which will house a range of industries including transport and logistics, the manufacturing sector and engineering and information services,” Mr Baillieu said.
“This employment zone will not only enable new industries to establish themselves in Ballarat, but it will also provide existing businesses that are currently landlocked with an opportunity to grow and expand.”
The 623-hectare site is next to the Ballarat Airport and close to new residential growth areas. Once developed, it is forecast to create 9000 jobs and approximately $5 billion in economic output for Ballarat.
Ballarat mayor Cr Mark Harris welcomed the funding for the priority project.
“The employment zone will also deliver land options of a size and scale required to assist new and expanding industries invest and prosper in Ballarat,” he said.
“It will ensure we have the infrastructure and employment opportunities in place to help meet the demands of a growing population.”
Cr Harris welcomed the involvement of Major Projects Victoria, which he said would take a lead role in the next stage of the employment zone development.