BALLARAT will benefit from up to 30 new jobs created by a new V/Line train maintenance facility announced yesterday by the state government. Visiting the Ballarat East construction site yesterday, Minister for Regional Cities Dr Denis Napthine said the $16.5 million project would also lead to better rail services for commuters. The new three-track maintenance facility is expected to be completed by the end of the year and will allow V/Line to service trains overnight in Ballarat for the first time. It will be run by international rail company Bombardier. Dr Napthine said the announcement was good news for Ballarat and western Victoria. “V/Line and Bombardier are confident that the Ballarat workforce includes people with the skills required to work at this new facility and will be looking to fill these new positions with local people,” Dr Napthine said. “As the Coalition government continues to re-open railway stations in country Victoria and with our commitment to the Regional Rail Link, more jobs will continue to open up in this sector,” Dr Napthine said. Dr Napthine said V/Line was already one of the bigger employers in Ballarat, with 107 staff directly employed by the authority and about 40 more employed indirectly through train and station cleaning and maintenance contracts. He said the government was open to the possibility of more jobs coming to Ballarat as needs demanded. V/Line plans to accommodate a number of current staff who commute to Melbourne from Ballarat. The expansion comes as part of a long-term strategy to move VLocity train maintenance operations from Melbourne to major regional areas, including Ballarat and Geelong. Member for Ballarat West Sharon Knight said new job opportunities were needed in the region. “I welcome any jobs that come to Ballarat and congratulate the Government in following Labor’s lead in creating regional employment,” said Ms Knight.