The Premier of Victoria, The Hon Denis Napthine launched the Ballarat Regional Capital Plan on Tuesday (10/12) at Parliament House, Melbourne.
City of Ballarat Mayor Joshua Morris said the Ballarat Regional Capital Plan provides a strategic investment framework for accelerating the growth of Ballarat and the western region of Victoria.
“Ballarat is the capital of Western Victoria and is already one of Australia’s fastest growing regional centres, with population growth nearing two per cent and a projected population of more than 128,000 by 2026.”
In 2009, the Ballarat community decided on a vision for Ballarat into the future.
The key planks of this vision were for:
Ballarat to become a premier regional centre in Australia, providing a capital city experience and contributing to the nation’s economic wealth and cultural breadth, and
A thriving retail, commercial, educational and cultural focus of western Victoria.
This vision for Ballarat informs Ballarat Council’s plans for the city and forms the basis of Ballarat’s Regional Capital Plan
Key Challenges and Opportunities
As a key regional population centre, Ballarat has the capacity and potential to alleviate population pressures in some of the fastest growing municipalities of Melbourne in the north and west (notably the fast growing municipalities of Wyndham and Whittlesea) and to act as an accelerator for regional and state-wide growth.
Developing Ballarat as a true capital in this ‘state of cities’ builds upon the inherent strengths of Ballarat and the region, and leverages its role as a regional employment hub, while tackling the challenges of achieving productive and balanced growth.
To function and thrive as a sustainable regional capital city and a viable destination for increased population growth, Ballarat must address the following priorities:
1. Ballarat Regional Capital Fund
Dedicated project funding to deliver the key transformative projects to support the future growth of the region.
2. Economic transformation
Improved productivity and competitiveness that can generate the future jobs a growing population requires.
3. CBD revitalisation
A vibrant CBD that supports retail, cultural enterprise, professional services, and residential development.
4. Regional health & education
Improved regional health and education capabilities to meet the growing demands of an ageing population and other sectoral needs in terms of workforce development, re-skilling, structural adjustment and growth.
5. Productive resources
A balanced approach to key resource usage, focusing on energy and waste.
6. World-class events & culture
The facilities to attract and house world- class cultural and sporting events, as befits a capital city.