The first step in developing the site was the completion of a Master Plan in close alignment with the Ballarat West Growth Area Precinct Structure Plans, the Western Link Road and the Ballarat Airport Master Plan.
The process included rigorous technical investigations and extensive community engagement. It suggested innovative water re-use opportunities, environmental enhancement initiatives and clustering layouts to deliver competitive business environment.
Planning Scheme Amendment. In June 2013, the Minister for Planning approving Amendment C166 - Ballarat West Employment Zone. Gazettal of the amendment took place on Thursday 27 June 2013. The amendment rezones the Employment Zone to a Special Use Zone and included the Master Plan into the planning scheme as a reference document.
BWEZ Stakeholder and Community Consultation
Council has undertaken an extensive community consultation program during the life of the Ballarat West Employment Zone (BWEZ) Project. This has led to measures designed to protect and enhance the environment and the amenity of nearby residential areas from both operations on the site and traffic.
The aim of the consultation undertaken for the Master Plan in particular was to ensure that the key issues, constraints and opportunities were identified early, and taken into account. A summary of the consultation follows:
Two stakeholder workshops on 9 August and 13 October 2011 where 430 effected residents, business owners and key stakeholders were invited. Over eighty (80) stakeholders in total attended these sessions.
Two publicly advertised general community information drop-in sessions were held on 20 October 2011 and 17th January 2012 with fifteen (15) in attendance specifically for the BWEZ.
Two Technical Working Group workshops were also held on 27 September and 17 November 2011 to seek the views of authorities, State Government agencies, and internal Council departments. Up to twenty (20) members of the Technical Working Groups attended these sessions.
Briefing sessions were held with Councillors, property industry and business groups and potential investors to seek input and advise them on the progress of the BWEZ Master Plan.
The Economic Assessment of BWEZ consultation also formed part of the consultation process which was designed to ensure that key areas of industry and the property development sector were involved in the formulation of the eventual Master Plan. The extensive consultation process included thirty three (33) one on one meetings with individual firms operating regionally and internationally as well as focus groups.
Council resolved to endorse public exhibition of the draft Ballarat West Employment Zone Master Plan at the Council Meeting held on 14 December 2011, over December 2011 and January 2012. On 8 February 2012 Council considered a report on submissions received in response to the recent exhibition of the draft BWEZ Master Plan.
Council has in place the Ballarat West Steering Committee which is comprised of forty (40) members and two Technical Working Groups comprising a total of thirty six (36) members. The final draft of the BWEZ Master Plan was submitted to the Ballarat West Steering Committee at its meeting on 19 April 2012 where the final draft of the BWEZ Master Plan was endorsed.
All submissions were assessed and incorporated into the final BWEZ master Plan where appropriate. The BWEZ Master Plan was revised to take into account submissions from the public and comments from servicing authorities and government agencies.
At its Ordinary Council Meeting on 23rd May 2012 Council adopted the BWEZ Master Plan.
Regular updates on the BWEZ continue to be published on the Council website, through Ballarat West Growth Area community newsletters and through MyBallarat.