Ballarat Community Health moves to new Lucas site

BALLARAT Community Health will build a new $13.6 million head office at Lucas.

Construction of the state-of-the-art facility will begin next May and will be completed by May 2014.

BCH focuses on health promotion and illness prevention, with programs aimed at dealing with alcohol issues, chronic illness, diabetes, mental health, podiatry, family violence, refugee health services and smoking cessation. 

BCH project manager Jim Rodgers said outreach services would still be maintained at Ballarat East, Sebastopol, Cooinda (Wendouree) and Smythesdale.

However, the current Sturt Street offices owned by BCH would probably be sold.

“We’ve outgrown our current facility and this will enable us to continue our expansion and increase our coverage all over Ballarat, so we’ll have centres in the north, south, east and now west,” Mr Rodgers said.

“We will have all our services housed there, from youth services to counselling, GP clinics to sexual health.”

The move from Sturt Street will be funded with $11.3 million from the federal government’s Health & Hospitals Fund Program Regional Priority program and $2 million from BCH.

Integra development manager Nick Grylewicz said the addition of BCH would complement Lucas’s Main Street shopping centre, education precinct and sporting facilities.

“Lucas is emerging as one of the most dynamic urban growth areas in regional Victoria,” he said.

“The Ballarat Community Health announcement provides further economic stimulus and will help to underpin employment in the Ballarat development industry.”

Lucas covers 325 hectares six kilometres west of Ballarat’s CBD, just past Alfredton. It will feature about 4000 homes and house 11,000 residents, along with a Woolworths supermarket and speciality stores.