Ballarat's council have said White Night is the reason why a CBD car park which has already been delayed for more than a year has not opened this week.
The Creswick Road car park was to be functioning the week of September 23, but City of Ballarat have confirmed it will again be pushed back, after the space was used for White Night.
Construction on the 300-space car park began in May last year. The site has suffered from weather delays, soil problems and the contractor having other commitments.
A sealant is required before the car park can be asphalted on October 7 and 8, according to a spokesperson for the City of Ballarat on Thursday.
"Creswick Road car park site was used for White Night last week which pushed back sealing of the car park," the spokesperson said. "The primer seal will be put down at the end of this week or Monday, with asphalt booked in for October 7 and 8.
TIMELINE OF THE CRESWICK ROAD CAR PARK
- December 2017 - Discussions start about the potential of leasing the vacant lot on Creswick Road, to off-set lost car parking.
- May 2018 - Construction starts on the Creswick Road car park.
- June 2019 - City of Ballarat confirms the car park is expected to be completed by September, to coincide with the closure of Civic Hall car park.
- January 2019 - Mayor Samantha McIntosh says the works on the Creswick Road site are underway and it is "due to open in mid-February".
- March 2019 - Soil problems blamed for more delays, expected to open in the first half of 2019, but "no definite date" confirmed.
- July 19, 2019 - City of Ballarat says the car park will be done by the end of July, after "a prolonged weather delay" and the contractors having other commitments.
- September 5, 2019 - A media spokesperson says the car park "will open the week commencing 23 September".
- September 26, 2019 - City of Ballarat blames White Night's use of the space for another delays, doesn't confirm an opening date.
When the car park was announced in June 2018, City of Ballarat had allocated $600,000 for the car park at 122 Creswick Road, the former Shell service station next to Officeworks.
The council only has a three-year lease on the site, so Ballarat may lose the 300 parks in 2021 to a different use. Construction of GovHub is expected to be complete in 2020, leaving only one year currently where public servants at the building can park there.
City of Ballarat confirmed at the start of September that "discussions have been held regarding an extension" to the site lease. They also stated the car park would be most necessary this month, when the GovHub project transfers from excavation to construction and there's more demand on nearby car parking.
The money came from a $2 million state government cash-splash, to provide 1000 car parks in the Ballarat CBD. The car park was created in order to offset the lost spaces from workers entering GovHub, and the removal of the multi-story next to Civic Hall.
Regional Development Minister Jaclyn Symes said that the project had been delayed for "far too long" after the money was made available before the construction started on GovHub.
"It's a shame Ballarat City Council has delayed this project for far too long, and I look forward to the carparks being available for locals to use as soon as possible," she said.
The response from City of Ballarat on Thursday noted that the boom gate installer, Designer Australia, is still looking to secure a Ballarat-based contractor for maintenance work for the gate into the future.
"Once asphalt seal is complete and boom gate maintenance is established, the car park will be opened to the public," the spokeperson for the council said.
When completed, the car park will have 300 paid parking spots, for a fee of $6.50 per day.
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