Ballarat’s gross product growth is far ahead of regional Victoria as a whole, according to a report released over the weekend.
The SGS Economics and Planning report found that growth of gross product outside of Melbourne had fallen far behind the metropolitan area.
Melbourne was estimated to have grown 3.5 per cent in the last decade with regional Victoria barely changed, with an increase of 0.1 per cent.
The author of the report Terry Rawnsley said recent conditions had been responsible for the poor showing.
“It's been a bad year for both manufacturing and agriculture," he said.
"The closure of the Alcoa refinery in Geelong hit manufacturing, and we had drought in the Wimmera. Agriculture is seasonal so things might improve, but Melbourne is where the growth is."
Ballarat’s individual growth figures show a different story, however.
An economic report commissioned by the City of Ballarat from 2015 has shown gross regional product growth in the same time frame.
The annual average regional growth rate between 2001 and 2011 was 3.85 per cent.
Colliers Ballarat Managing Director David Wright said Melbourne should be leading the way on gross product growth.
“Capital cities have their own challenges. Is Melbourne ioutperforming Western Victoria? I hope they are. That’s the job of a capital city, to be pushing growth with all of Victoria,” he said.
“Council are doing a great job and you’ve got the 30,000 more people coming in 20 years (to bolster growth).”
Part of the SGS report suggested the whole of regional Victoria could benefit from lower interest rates than Melbourne.
The current cash rate is two per cent, and Mr Rawnsley said one per cent would be better.
While Mr Wright acknowledged it would not hurt, he said consistently strong yields in the property sector showed Ballarat was going well.
“Ballarat enjoys higher yields on commercial properties, because we don’t have the same capital growth as Melbourne,” he said.
“There’s a 6-7 per cent return on your capital investment in Ballarat, Melbourne has some some pretty silly yields of four or five per cent.”
In residential property, Mr Wright said it was five per cent in Ballarat and “a lot less than that” in Melbourne.
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