GovHub project ‘functionally complete’
SET to house over nine hundred workers, Ballarat’s GovHub project is now officially functionally complete.
Although the building still has a handful of cosmetic finishing touches to go, Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas visited the site and said it’s ready for the first round of workers to move in from next week.
“This extraordinary building is a great asset for the City of Ballarat, now and into the future,” she said.
“What that means… is more demand for local businesses and services, the people who will be working here are a highly skilled workforce and they will make an incredible contribution to the city.
With hopes for the future progression of the precinct, the John Wardle Architects-designed building has already boosted the regional economy with a variety of construction jobs created led by Ballarat-based Kane Nicholson Joint Venture.
“This is a historic investment of $100 million for GovHub… it took a lot of people to build this beautiful building and I’m delighted that so many locals were engaged, almost 500 workers helped build the GovHub and most three quarters of that came from within 100 kilometres of the city,” Ms Thomas said.
Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle echoed ideas about the new buliding’s ability to be a landmark in Ballarat for decades to come.
“During the build, we’ve all had a sense of excitement and a buzz in the CBD, we’ve seen lots of new eateries and drinkeries open,” she said.
“I think that buzz is just going to continue once we get these workers in here and the doors open.”
Once fully operational, GovHub is set to house workers from Service Victoria, Consumer Affairs, Working with Children Check, the State Revenue Office, Regional Development Victoria, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, the Department of Education and Training, and VicRoads which will open a customer hub from 10 May.
Excited to utilise the GovHub professionally, team manager from Consumer Affairs Victoria Daisy O’Keefe said she jumped at the chance to move to Ballarat.
“I started as a call taker at Consumer Affairs about four years ago, when I found out it was moving to Ballarat I was really excited for the opportunity to work in a regional area,” she said.
“Me and all of my colleagues were given a choice and we were given a lot of support from the Department as well so we could make the best-informed choice for ourselves and our families before moving.
“I moved about a year ago, I really enjoy the local cafes and all of my colleagues who have joined us from here in Ballarat.”
In addition to the job opportunities and the building, Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison said one of the proudest parts of the project was the incorporation of Wadawurrung traditional owners into the design process.
“It’s been very important for us that we recognise the traditional owners of the land, what’s very special about this building is we have this public space that has been named the Catobeen Building who was one of the Wadawurrung ancestral leaders,” she said.
“To be able to call a beautiful public space inside this building after a Wadawurrung elder fills me with great pride.”
Looking forward to the economic and social benefits of the project, City of Ballarat mayor Daniel Moloney said it’s nice to finally see some significant investment here in Ballarat.
“The private sector have been very clear to us that they want government and council investment in an area before they move,” he said.
“One of the challenges we have had for a long time is we haven’t had those higher paying professional jobs you can get in Melbourne CBD, so to finally get some of those jobs here is pretty critical to us.
“We’re starting to see planning permits at the early stages coming in for developments around this precinct all the way down from the Bridge Mall, I’m pretty confident this will be the first of many major developments around the Ballarat CBD.”