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Taking a $230 million fight to the steps of Spring Street

17 September 2018

Media Alert

Friday 14 September

Taking a $230 million fight to the steps of Spring Street

Eight of Ballarat’s biggest organisations are taking a $230 million funding fight literally to the steps of Spring Street.

The Ballarat. Now and Into the Future consortium will present six priority projects that urgently require government funding on the steps of Parliament House next Wednesday at 2pm.

The projects will be presented to Regional Development Minister and Western Victoria MLC Jaala Pulford, along with fellow Western Victoria MLC Joshua Morris, Buninyong MLA Geoff Howard and Ripon MLA Louise Staley, along with other Victorian MPs.

The consortium includes the City of Ballarat, Federation University, Australian Catholic University, Ballarat Health Services, Sovereign Hill, Commerce Ballarat, Committee for Ballarat and Visit Ballarat.

Together they represent more than 6000 employees, 600 businesses and 105,000 residents.

The six priority projects include:

  • Her Majesty’s Theatre upgrade ($15 million)
  • A project to upgrade one of Australia’s oldest historic theatres so it can provide an outstanding performance venue for another 143 years
  • Sovereign Hill Beyond 50 ($43 million)
  • A ‘once in a generation’ upgrade of the renowned tourist attraction ahead of its 50th birthday in 2020
  • Ballarat Link Road ($80 million)
  • To allow for stage two of the major arterial link connecting the residential growth zone on Ballarat’s western fringes with the Western Freeway
  • Warrenheip Station ($21.8 million)
  • A commuter station at Warrenheip would help deliver a ’59-minute service’ between Ballarat and Melbourne while also removing 2000 vehicles from the Ballarat CBD
  • Ballarat Research and Innovation Collaboration for Health ($19 million)
  • An innovative research hub to bring together the research facilities of Ballarat’s two hospitals and six universities
  • Aviation Innovation Emergency Services Hub ($50 million)
  • A national flagship for aviation emergency service innovation and excellence

City of Ballarat Mayor Cr Samantha McIntosh said Ballarat was currently experiencing the same population growth as during the goldrush era.

“We are now the capital of western Victoria and we need to have the infrastructure in place to cope with that growth, particularly in our transport networks,” Cr McIntosh said.

“We also need to ensure two of our biggest drawcards in Her Majesty’s Theatre and Sovereign Hill are upgraded to the best possible standards to ensure Ballarat maintains its reputation as one of the tourism capitals of Victoria

“Ballarat also needs to capitalise on its excellent health and education facilities to create a renowned medical research hub while also creating an aviation hub that will provide for a much quicker emergency service response across the state.

“There is a state election looming and we need to let both sides of politics know exactly what Ballarat needs now and into the future. We can’t sit and wait for the money to come to us – we need to put Ballarat’s needs right in front of the people who make the funding decisions.”