The Andrews Labor Government has approved changes to the Ballarat Planning Scheme that will facilitate the relocation and development of a new $21 million state of the art livestock exchange facility near Ballarat.
The relocated site, 1km southwest of Miners Rest, will cater for the transfer of 70,000 cattle and 1.6 million sheep annually from across Victoria, boost local jobs and support the viability of the agricultural section in the region.
The current livestock exchange facility has an annual turnover of $160 million and supports the direct employment of some 630 people across the agriculture sector within the region.
However, the existing site has severe infrastructure limitations impacting animal care, waste management, parking and traffic movement and a lack of appropriate separation from surrounding residences and businesses.
The $21 million investment will modernise operations, increase capacity, create an additional 126 direct and indirect jobs, and generate a total economic activity boost for the Ballarat region of more than $46 million over the course of the project.
Responding to community concerns, the zone being created for the site includes a strict list of requirements the applicant will need to meet before the new livestock exchange facility can be developed.
These requirements include ensuring that water and soil quality are protected and that regulatory authorities (including for flooding and water) are fully satisfied with the proposed facility and how it will operate.
In addition, the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) will ensure strict environmental standards are met (including for odour and noise) for the site, during construction and on-going operation of the facility.
The site will also operate under an ‘Environmental Improvement Plan’ which has built-in review processes required by the EPA.
Quotes attributable to Acting Minister for Planning, Tim Pallas
“It was important to keep this facility in Ballarat to secure hundreds of local jobs and promote growth in the region’s vital agriculture industry.”
“A clear, open and transparent planning process has been followed to ensure the community was able to have its say and its concerns dealt with. I commend the Ballarat community on its engaged approach to this vital project.”
“The Andrews Labor Government is getting on with supporting projects which create jobs and build stronger regional communities.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020