p style=”text-align: justify”>The Federal Budget delivered tonight includes funding of $9.1 million towards Stage 1 of the Ballarat Freight Hub to be developed as part of the Ballarat West Employment Zone.
The Federal Budget delivered tonight includes funding of $9.1 million towards Stage 1 of the Ballarat Freight Hub to be developed as part of the Ballarat West Employment Zone.
Federal Member for Ballarat, Catherine King, said the hub is a critical catalyst for the future development of the Employment Zone and for the economy of the region and she is delighted the funding has been provided.
“This as a vital project for future jobs growth and the economic future of Ballarat and wider region and it is rewarding to know we have been able to secure this funding,” Ms King said.
“The funding will help with the development of core infrastructure for the Freight Hub, including access, site preparation and services. I understand the City of Ballarat will look to secure a commercial operator to fund the remainder of Stage 1,” Ms King said.
Stage 1 of the Freight Hub has been costed at $17.27 million. This includes $14.52 million for the freight hub proper and $2.75 million to fund road access to the facility.
The Freight Hub has been identified within the first stage of the Employment Zone development.
The site will be developed in line with completion of the new Western Link Road and the early stages of the broader Employment Zone.
Ms King said the Federal Budget funding has been allocated for the period 2014 – 2017.
“We are a Government which is determined to ensure our regions can develop the infrastructure they know is important for future growth,” Ms King said.
“We know Ballarat is growing quickly. It is one of the fastest growing inland regional cities in the nation.
“It is vital that there are future job prospects for those people choosing to make Ballarat home and the Ballarat West Employment Zone is an important part of that.
“The Government recognises that the Ballarat Freight Hub is essential to ensuring development of the Employment Zone and that is reflected in this funding allocation.”
Stage 1 of the freight hub provides for the establishment of a facility for handling road-based freight.
Three further stages of development would see expansion of the hub to ultimately incorporate rail freight movements.