A business investment boom will be arrive in Ballarat’s CBD thanks to 600 state government jobs moved to the Civic Hall site on Mair Street.
The site will be redeveloped to accommodate 1000 new workers in 2020.
It is the third multi-million development planned for the precinct.
Mair Street will be realigned to improve traffic flow and the state government has committed to a $49 million redevelopment of the Ballarat Rail Precinct.
The GovHub office at the Civic Hall site received $47.8 million in the state budget released on Tuesday.
Construction is expected to start in 2018 and create 500 jobs by the time the Civic Hall redevelopment is finished in 2020.
A Ballarat Library expansion and removing the lower hall at the Civic Hall site is also part of Ballarat City Council’s plan.
The GovHub will sit next to the main Civic Hall site where landscaping work has already started.
Six hundred jobs from eight government departments would be moved to the site to shift workers to regional Victoria.
Premier Daniel Andrews said the jobs would create a boom in the Ballarat CBD.
“It will create that critical mass, a catalyst that has an effect on business and investment,” he said.
“It will be important for the families in this community.
“These are jobs that don’t need to be located in Melbourne, they can be located anywhere.
“It is one development welcomed by civic leadership – they want to see it redeveloped, they want to see more people in work in this community.”
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The redevelopment design brief will include space for 350 car parks, while the government will also work with council to add 1000 car parks near the site to off-set losses.
Development Victoria will finance and lead the establishment of the office.
Heritage Victoria and the Office of the Victorian Government Architect will also be involved.
The departments to move jobs to the city include;
- Education and Training
- Justice and Regulation
- Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources
- Consumer Affairs Victoria
- Environment, Land, Water and Planning
- State Revenue Office
- Service Victoria
Western Victoria MP Jaala Pulford said the jobs would transform the Ballarat CBD to a remarkable degree.
“This will create a huge level of investment activity Ballarat has not seen since the gold rush,” she said.
“We know an investment of this scale will have that impact.
“I spent time providing a detailed briefing to Ballarat business and community leaders and they are very excited about it.
“I defy anybody to say this city is not changing dramatically.”
The government did not reveal how many of the jobs will be newly created and how many will be moved from Melbourne, with a mixture of both confirmed as part of the plan.
It has also committed to no forced relocation or redundancies as part of the move.
Mr Andrews said he did not expect it would be difficult to find workers willing to move to Ballarat.
“We are making sure we keep the economy in Ballarat going strongly,” he said.
“There will be no trouble getting perhaps more than 600 people applying for jobs here.
“The government is using all of the levers available to it to achieve a great out come.
“We making sure we keep the economy growing strongly.”
The combined cost of the rail precinct and civic hall upgrades will reach more than $100 million.
At least 140 jobs will be created through construction at the rail precinct as well.
Ballarat City mayor Samantha McIntosh said the Civic Hall site upgrade was a catalyst for council’s CBD strategy.