The member for Wendouree Juliana Addison says the sale of the GovHub site by the state government is a strategy to recover project costs for re-investment in Ballarat and elsewhere.
The Courier revealed on Friday the GovHub site will be sold through Development Victoria by expression of interest next year. As part of the sale, the government will enter into a long-term lease with the new owner.
The Labor MP stood alongside Ballarat mayor Samantha McIntosh yesterday to declare the sale was a logical extension of the government policy of asset sales to release cash.
Asked if the sale was part of the original plan or the result of overspending, Ms Addison said she was unaware if there was an overarching reason for the sale, preferring to focus on the 1000 jobs that will be accommodated in the John Wardle Architects-designed building.
"Our commitment to Ballarat is unparalleled," said Ms Addison.
Mayor McIntosh says the council had lobbied hard for the development of GovHub and saw the building as an investment in the future of the city.
"We know the CBD needs this building; we know the surrounding businesses will thrive," said Ms McIntosh.
"If there are private investors willing to contribute such a significant amount of dollars, (that) commitment says future success."
Ms McIntosh expressed confidence that carparks promised in the project would remain available post sale.
The Courier understands that GovHubs in other regions of Victoria will also be put up for sale after completion, as the state government struggles with declining revenue following a collapse in property prices and the resultant loss of stamp duty income.