Letters to the Editor

The redevelopment will showcase and preserve Ballarat’s proud heritage buildings, breathing new life in to the bluestone goods shed for the benefit of both locals and visitors. Part of the redevelopment includes conferencing facilities; a 300-seat theatrette and a 300-seat banquet room within the Goods Shed providing opportunity for Ballarat to cement our stake in the lucrative business events market.

Business events is Australia’s highest yielding events sector. In regional Victoria alone, business events contributes almost half a billion dollars towards the economy and supports more than 3000 jobs every year. As delegates travel for business events, mid-week occupancy rates increase steadily.  The average delegate spends up to $1,000 in food and entertainment per visit, which will see our restaurants, cafes, retailers and attractions benefit. These business travellers then return at a later date as leisure travellers, bringing friends and family along to explore each destination and further boost the visitor economy.

It would be remiss of us to allow these lucrative dollars to go to businesses within our regional counterparts. Currently, Bendigo and Geelong have the stronghold on business events in regional Victoria. The proposed Rail Precinct redevelopment will help Ballarat to compete.

We all agree a 45 minute commute would be great for Ballarat. This project assists the viability of investing in an express service to Southern Cross by creating more mid-week travel and patronage in our businesses.

Investment and respectful development grows and positions our destination as one worth visiting. Let’s continue to evolve so our community can continue to thrive.

Noel Dempsey, Chief Executive Officer, Visit Ballarat