A plan to turn the heart of Ballarat into a thriving university town is another step closer, with the Victorian Government investing in a masterplan for the transformational project.
The key planning works, costing $6.11 million, will merge the Federation University campus with central Ballarat, transforming it into a contemporary and cosmopolitan destination for students and workers.
The project would upgrade infrastructure and deliver more programs for young Victorians, growing the local skilled workforce and attracting new industries – complementing the Government’s significant investments in Ballarat in the new Station Precinct, GovHub development and Federation University’s Business Centre of Excellence.
The planning will explore the transformation of the Skills and Innovation Precinct at the SMB Campus and a plan for Federation University to reach net zero emissions by 2030.
The funding will also support a secondary project which includes works at the SMB Campus to improve public access and at the Ararat Jobs and Technology precinct, to connect high-speed internet, with a builder to be appointed later this year and construction expected to begin next May.
The Government has invested $2.25 million in a partnership with Federation University and IBM, who will provide paid internships for 11 PhD students to work on the planning project.
It was one of many pitches from universities to the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund, which was developed in response to the significant impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the sector.
The unprecedented $350 million Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund is supporting universities with capital works, research infrastructure projects and applied research focused on boosting Victoria’s productivity and economy as the state recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney
“We’ve made a record investment to enhance Victoria’s reputation as a leader in higher education – and the Ballarat University Town project is the next step in that plan.”
Quote attributable to Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison
“This $2.25 million investment will continue the transformation of central Ballarat – it’s a significant project that will further enhance Ballarat’s reputation as a great place to study, work and live.”
Quote attributable to Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle
“This is the exciting next step of a plan that will grow Ballarat – providing great opportunities for locals while also putting the region on the map as a destination for students, workers and industry.”
Quote attributable to Federation University Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Duncan Bentley
“A revitalised city centre campus will drive economic growth and jobs by attracting more people to study and live in Ballarat, as well as new industry looking for a skilled regional workforce and access to research and innovation.”
Reviewed 16 September 2021