Over the next two decades, Ballarat West Employment Zone will drive growth in the city. The 438 hectare manufacturing, agribusiness, construction, freight and research hub adjacent to Ballarat Airport is expected to create up to 9000 jobs and inject $5 billion per year into the economy. Meanwhile, the $4 million upgrade to the airport runway will improve transport connections, support business expansion and further stimulate crucial economic activity in the region.
In the longer term, delivery of the second stage of the Ballarat Link Road will create a north–south link in Ballarat’s biggest urban growth area, connecting the city centre with major regional highways and enhancing transportation infrastructure in the region.
Tenants continue to flock to the new Ballarat GovHub in the heart of the city, which will ultimately house 1000 workers, including 600 public sector jobs either newly created or relocated from Melbourne.
Upgrades to the Ballarat train line have enhanced liveability, with an additional 135 weekly services, including 20-minute services during peak times. The introduction of capped fares from 31 March 2023 for regional weekday trips has made daily commutes a much more affordable option for the growing commuter population.
Construction is slated to commence next year on the $541 million redevelopment of the Ballarat Base Hospital, with a new emergency department and 100 additional inpatient and short-stay beds set to be delivered by 2027. The project will boost the hospital’s capacity to treat an additional 18,000 emergency patients per year and create up to 1000 full-time positions.
The City of Ballarat has plans to enhance Ballarat’s natural and built assets with a $47.6 million investment over the next 12 months to upgrade roads, bridges, foot and bike paths, sporting ovals and community hubs.
In the booming west, where the population will balloon by 73 per cent by 2036, a community hub on Donegal Drive will next year provide a 100-place kindergarten and community rooms.
Other projects include the continuation of Alfredton and Wendouree West Recreation Reserves and a $12.8 million injection to fund the Bakery Hill Urban Renewal Project and Ballarat Central Library Redevelopment. More than $2 million has been committed to complete restoration works at Her Majesty’s Theatre to strengthen Ballarat’s performing arts scene.