Green light for transport hub
A plan for the future of the land around Wendouree Station has been approved by the City of Ballarat council.
Known as the Wendouree Station Master Plan, preparation of the document was funded by the municipality and Department of Transport following feedback from stakeholders including property owners, station users and relevant State and Federal government agencies.
Cr Mark Harris, who voted against the proposal, said it was ambitious plan and he was concerned with elements of it.
“I raise the issue of the commercial viability of the station upgrade and the surroundings, an aspiration to turn this into a shopping precinct may be ill placed,” Cr Harris said. “Leveraging commercial endeavour around the station won’t help around a dysfunctional area.
“We will have a plaza with tumbleweeds blowing across it.”
Usage of Wendouree Railway Station is growing, averaging out at 15.4 per cent a year since 2013-14.
Significant further increases in travellers are expected due the area’s growing population and upgrades to the Ballarat train line.
Cr Des Hudson was successful in achieving an amended motion aimed at supporting market driven implementation of the plan.
“Transport hubs are people orientated places,” Cr Hudson said. “I want to see this plan activated and the opportunities for jobs along the way.”
Key elements on the plan include an upgraded bus interchange, open space for access to the station from Gregory Street, extra carparking and commercial and residential development.