MEDICAL students will benefit from a near $3 million new accommodation facility in Alfredton.
Currently under construction, the eight energy efficient townhouses will house University of Melbourne and Deakin University medical students.
The houses are a new phase in the development of rural health for the Ballarat region and is part of the government’s strategy to attract more young doctors to take up practice in regional areas.
The Department of Health and Ageing provided $2.25m to the University of Melbourne and $680,000 to Deakin University for the new accommodation.
Ballarat MP Catherine King said Ballarat has become a substantial focal point for clinical training whether it be medical or dental or other allied health.
“Accommodation like this allows these students to have a rural and regional experience and hopefully increase the likelihood of them practising locally,” Ms King said.
Ms King said for many Ballarat people the Balanda room is very much part of our history and growing up in Ballarat.
“To actually see what had become a fairly tired site completely redone as a housing estate with the added benefit of providing accommodation for medical students is wonderful,” she said.
“It is close to town and it is a great use of land for this suburb. Alfredton already has the shops, the public transport corridor and schools - it is a very smart move for everyone involved.”
Committee for Ballarat chief executive John Kilgour said its important to continue building communities.
“I think it’s an important investment in our medical services and these are the types of initiatives that the Committee for Ballarat can play a role in facilitating and bringing together the different stakeholders to further invest into our region,” Mr Kilgour said.
“With Alfredton being the growth corridor, this area allows the students to immerse themselves in the community.”
The houses are located in Balanada Close, and can cater for up to 32 people including students with partners or families.
CORRECTION: The original version of this story incorrectly stated the cost of the accommodation facility as "near $6 million". It will cost $2.93 million.