A GROWTH in population will bring more services and jobs to Ballarat, increasing the standard of living, a development expert has said.
According to a new state government report, Victoria into the Future 2012, the city’s population is expected to reach 130,000 within 20 years as more people leave Melbourne for regional Victoria.
But Urban Development Institute of Australia, Victoria, executive director Tony De Domenico said Ballarat was primed to meet the demands of a growing population head-on.
“The three key ingredients that a city like Ballarat needs is zoned land supply, proximity to services or being two hours drive from Melbourne and the potential to create local employment,” hesaid.
“Ballarat ticks all the boxes.”
Mr De Domenico said there was often a perception that population growth was negative but provided it was well planned it could work in Ballarat’s favour.
“There are no negatives in growth as long as it is well planned,” he said.
“With population growth comes extra services and I think it would be a pity if cities like Ballarat weren’t prepared to accept the extra services to accommodate population growth.”
Mr De Domenico said population growth in regional cities was inevitable.
“There is no doubt the community has to embrace change,” he said .
“...As the pressure on Melbourne increases there is a great potential for those forward-thinking cities to embrace population increase and attract them to their local area.”
However, growth did not have to spell doom for the iconic character of Ballarat.
“You can increase population without decreasing character of the town as long as it is well planned,” Mr De Domenico said.
“There are numerous European cities that attest to that and they have been there for centuries.”
Meanwhile, the City of Ballarat is one of the 44 regional councils trying to entice city dwellers looking for a tree change.
The council, along with others in the Goldfield region are participating in the 2012 Regional Victoria Living Expo, to be held this weekend at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
For more information: