$30.2 million State budget boost for Ballarat jobs and investment
The Ballarat West Employment Zone (BWEZ) has received $30.2 million from the Victorian Coalition Government in the State Budget representing a major boost for investment and jobs in Ballarat and western Victoria.
The Ballarat City Council is contributing $5 million to this funding allocation.
Premier and Minister for Regional Cities Denis Napthine said the joint funding would kick-start BWEZ and generate the first of 9,000 jobs forecast for the Ballarat region arising from the project over the next 20 years.
“The Ballarat West Employment Zone is an essential part of the Napthine Government’s strategic vision for the growth and prosperity of Ballarat, providing jobs for the region’s growing population,” Dr Napthine said.
“The 438 hectare precinct combined with the Coalition Government’s investment of $38 million in the Ballarat West Link Road represents one of Victoria’s very best opportunities for investment by national and international businesses.
“Investment over the long term through the BWEZ is expected to generate $5 billion in annual economic activity for Ballarat and western Victoria.”
Ballarat Mayor Cr Joshua Morris said the announcement was exciting news for Ballarat’s future.
“The Ballarat West Employment Zone will be the engine room for jobs and economic growth in our city and region over the next two decades,” Mr Morris said.
“This announcement is a major step forward for the project and we are absolutely thrilled that the State Government has made this major investment in in the future of our city.
“The BWEZ was identified as a key priority of the Ballarat Regional Capital Plan, with the plan identifying the key critical projects that will secure Ballarat and western Victoria’s economic destiny.”
Minister for Major Projects David Hodgett said the joint State Government and Council funding for BWEZ would be over the next four years with $12 million of works to occur in 2014-2015.
Funding announced in today’s State Budget will see works on Stage One of the BWEZ subdivision undertaken. Works will include:
- subdivision of lots within the BWEZ;
- construction of internal roads;
- installation of services; and
- marketing and other sales costs of allotments.
“BWEZ is a landmark project for Regional Victoria and is the key to driving industry innovation and productivity advancements not only in Ballarat, but throughout the whole of Western Victoria,” Mr Hodgett said.
“Situated nearby the Ballarat West residential growth area, the Ballarat Airport, rail infrastructure and the Ballarat West Link Road (under construction), BWEZ is an ideal site that will improve transport connections, generate investment and further enhance Ballarat as a thriving regional centre.”
Mr Hodgett said Major Projects Victoria and the Ballarat City Council had worked over the past twelve months on comprehensive planning and developing a construction blueprint for the BWEZ.
This work included funding of $835,000 from the Victorian Coalition Government’s Regional Growth Fund as well as matching funds from the Council.