The following is my plan to build and grow a vibrant community in Ballarat.

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Ballarat is one of Australia’s largest inland cities, healing considered the gateway to western Victoria, approved and is a 75-minute drive from Melbourne or a slightly shorter rail journey. Ballarat is at the intersection of four major highways that cross the state.

National and local carriers provide fast and efficient services by road, rail and air from Ballarat to the ports of Melbourne and Geelong, to Melbourne International Airport and will, in the future, to Avalon Airport.

We are promised fast efficient train travel o Melbourne it must be expresses and less than one hour.

Ballarat is still the major services centre for western Victoria where many professional, retail, commercial, education, health and welfare services are located.

But it is not a creative hub, through innovation creative industries will provide the future for economic growth in of region, in turn creating new jobs, new businesses activating a safe central business district.

Ballarat is already a rapidly expanding city where families can enjoy a healthy lifestyle in a carefree, secure environment in one of Australia’s most historic and attractive regional centres.

The platform for Ballarat’s future, I believe, is in four pillars – liveability, innovation, sustainability and economic growth.

  1. LiveabilityOur culture – providing social infrastructure that is conducive to an engaged community, a vibrant, safe CBD and a healthy lifestyle producing a high quality of life.Potential:
    • Understanding the needs and differences between metropolitan communities and regional centres.
    • Encourage inner-city living and creative industries to have thir home in the CBD which will contribute to its vibrancy and safety.
    • Importantly cutting-edge creative industries, continuing Ballarat’s reputation as a city of innovation.
  2. Innovation
    This is not just improving the way we do things; it is about being creative and inventive.Support:

    • innovative, creative endeavours
    • the many places and spaces that are underutilised and have the potential to be hubs for creativity, particularly the railway precinct and heritage CBD buildings
    • reinvestment in upgrading existing accommodation options in the CBD and suburban areas
    • a new tourism transport connection, such as a state-of-the-art futuristic tourist bus, celebrating the yesterday, today and tomorrow of Ballarat.
  3. SustainabilityFor Ballarat, this is about using what we need to live now, without jeopardising the potential for people in the future to at least have the standard of living that we currently enjoy.The future is based not only on jobs, but importantly:
    • an infrastructure that will support a population of over 130,000.
    • the development of the Ballarat railway precinct as a transport and arts hub.
    • greater public transport use and patronage of the Ballarat–Melbourne express trains for commuters and tourists, with less reliance on the private car.
    • the removal of mobile phone dead spots and installation of Wi-Fi on Ballarat–Melbourne trains.
  4. Economic GrowthBallarat till now has been a city of endeavour; this is now waning. Our city has a current population of 100,000. By 2030, this is projected to reach at least 130,000.Encouraging industries that will create sustainable jobs through intelligent and rational means, and are focused on the long-term future.

    Ensure:

    • there is an economic development regional strategy that focuses on the natural catchment, taking into account the region’s food bowl, niche industries and tourism
    • funding for Ballarat has a two-pronged approach – for Ballarat itself and for its surrounding catchment
    • there are incentives in place for local government regional collaboration rather than competitiveness
    • Creative Victoria (formerly Arts Victoria or as I will say Arts Melbourne) and Tourism Victoria engage on a statewide basis, rather than being Melbourne-centric.

    Health and Welfare

    Currently 50 per cent of adults in Ballarat are on some form of welfare and 30 per cent of youth are unemployed.

    We must:

    • support TAFE to provide training for sustainable jobs – apprenticeships and traineeships
    • create an education stimulus for children of families receiving government support, particularly where the parents are long-term unemployed.
    • support aged care through specialist facilities such as high-care units for dementia patients, and better utilise our health and training facilities at Federation University and the Grampians Health Services.
    • provide funding for a research trial into involuntary admission and treatment for mental health, addiction and domestic violence
    • invest in transition programs for the mentally frail after treatment
    • encourage multicultural integration, particularly through encouragement of the settlement of asylum seekers.

    Ballarat must continue to lead the way through innovation and the encouragement of the use of cutting-edge technology that supports the business, industry, agriculture and resources sectors.

We must maximise new investment to ensure Ballarat’s long-term sustainability.

Using innovation as a major plank of its future economic base, combined with a capable, adaptable workforce, will provide Ballarat with a sound foundation for future development and prosperity.

Ron Egeberg
27 August 2014

Categories: Blog, Uncategorized
This post was written by , posted on January 5, 2015 Monday at 12:14 pm

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