Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan and Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder announced that SJB urban designers will undertake the Ballarat Station planning study

which has been designed to create a vision for the renewal of the precinct over the next 50 years.

“Cities are complex. We recognize that effective planning is needed for an increasingly complex and uncertain future. Our work is determined by site conditions, strategic political and social directions, answering the requirements of urban sustainability and economic imperatives,” SJB designers said.

Ryan said urban design specialists SJB Urban had been awarded the $300,000 contract to undertake the study on behalf of the Victorian Coalition Government and the City of Ballarat.  SJB Urban is an award-winning company specialized in urban design practice, with a diverse portfolio of private and public sectors strategic development projects in Australia and overseas.

“The Ballarat Station precinct has all the right ingredients for a successful community hub. It’s close to the CBD, rail and bus services and has significant historic character,” Mulder said.

Ryan said the study would bring about a new vision for a vibrant and successful precinct that meets the needs of residents, visitors and businesses in Ballarat.

“As the welcome point for visitors arriving to Ballarat by train, the master plan will strive to deliver a gateway worthy of one of Victoria’s fastest growing regional cities,” he said.

Ballarat Railway Station

Ballarat Railway Station, Melbourne

The site, including the station and surrounding areas, has the potential to be developed through creative designs for parking solutions, public transport growth patronage and proposals on how to strengthen the precinct’s connections to the city centre.

“This master plan will allow the Coalition Government to look at the long-term development of this important precinct. Community feedback will be vital in making sure that a range of ideas and solutions are canvassed throughout the study, with Ballarat residents and businesses encouraged to share their views,” Mulder said.

City of Ballarat Mayor John Burt highlighted the importance of the consultation process, which will afford the Ballarat community face-to-face and online opportunities to get involved. He encouraged Ballarat businesses and residents to share their views.

The master plan for the new transport hub, featuring more than 95 new residences plus retail and education buildings, is scheduled to be completed by 2014 and is being managed by the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure, Regional Development Victoria, VicTrack and the City of Ballarat.

The Government’s $75,000 contribution to the project is being provided through the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund, which aims to build strong vibrant cities and country communities over the next eight years.

By Mercedes Martty