THE first stage of the Ballarat Station precinct upgrade is underway with a new 405 car park expected to be completed by November.
The $51 million project, which will see a new hotel and convention centre, public square and multi-deck car park is finally ready to start construction after weather related delays held up the early excavation.
Regional Development Minister Jaala Pulford, who visited the site yesterday said the project, along with the construction of the GovHub facility will revitalise Ballarat’s CBD.
Ms Pulford said up to 140 jobs would be created during the construction of the precinct and another 30 ongoing jobs would be part of the hotel and convention centre stage of the project.
She said GovHub will bring 600 new government jobs to Ballarat and create a further 500 jobs during the construction phase.
“There are shovels in the ground all over Ballarat, and this is yet another milestone in transforming our city,” she said.
“These projects are part of the most significant infrastructure investment and construction program in Ballarat’s history, with more than $500 million worth of projects underway in the city.”
Constructors Pellicano are working on the site. Site manager Ian Kennedy said the multi-storey carpark had been designed to not interfere with views of Ballarat’s heritage skyline.
“The extensive excavation has been done to lower the overall profile of the carpark so sight lines are maintained across the heritage precinct,” he said.
Construction worker Sam Giblett said as a Ballarat-based worker, he was loving the opportunity to finally be able to work in his home town.
“To chase work, I’ve had to travel all over,” he said.
“I’ve had to travel six days a week to the other side of Melbourne. It’s really difficult with a two-and-a-half year old at home having to get up at 4.30am every morning.”
Mr Giblett it was a project that was long overdue for Ballarat.
“We just had Heritage Weekend and people were coming into town from all over and they were walking through potholes and that’s the way it’s been for a long time,” he said.
“I’ve been up to Bendigo a lot and you see what they’ve been doing up there, Ballarat really needed to get its act together and this is just going to be brilliant for the town.”