Follow Up: Construction to Commence on $100 Million Ballarat GovHub

As of January 2019, building works on the new GovHub building, a Victorian government facility, have commenced in Ballarat. The purpose-built centre will accommodate up to 1,000 Victorian government employees, create 500 additional jobs during construction, and cause minimal disturbance to the local community.

The new development comes in support of the swelling population in one of Victoria’s largest regional centres, and will contribute to a strong Victorian economy and building sector.

Victorian Labor’s Minister for Regional Development, Jaclyn Symes, has commended the onset of building works.

“We’re getting on with delivering major projects for Ballarat – creating jobs, building business confidence and driving huge economic growth in the city,” the minster said.

The new facility will provide office space for around 600 employees relocating from Melbourne. The building is due for completion in 2020.

“On top of the 1,000 government jobs that will now be based in Ballarat,” said Jaclyn Symes, “the GovHub will create hundreds of jobs during construction, with labour and material sourced from the Ballarat region wherever possible.”

The 500 new roles to be created during construction will support the teams at builders Kane and Nicholson, as well as building designer John Wardle Architects, who have been signed onto the project.

Architect’s rendering of the completed GovHub project entrance. Source: John Wardle Architects

GovHub has been designed to reflect the style of Ballarat Civic Hall precinct. It will include a shared space for multi-purpose use, and a double-level basement car park with a capacity of 120 spaces. Because the onsite parking will no longer be available to the public during construction, the Victorian Labor Government has also allocated $2 million for an additional 1,000 parking spaces in the City of Ballarat.

Construction activities have been carefully planned, and specific measures have been taken, to minimise impact on nearby residents and businesses. This includes the installation of timber safety hoarding around the site, designed to guide motorists and pedestrians around the area.

As of January, several road closures will take place in the vicinity, including the northbound lane of Armstrong Street North between Mair Street and Market Street. This will enable the transit of heavy vehicles in and out of the development. The Ballarat City Council is also set to relocate the nearby skate park to ensure the safety of the local youth.

Image: John Wardle Architects

The local members for Wendouree and Buninyong, Juliana Addison and Michaela Settle, have also commended the recent development for the opportunities and growth it will bring to Ballarat.

“This is such an exciting milestone for our Ballarat GovHub project and will inject new life right into our City – more importantly, this transformation will create 500 local jobs during construction and that is just fantastic,” said Juliana Addison.

Michaela Settle pointed to the architectural and social significance of the GovHub project, praising the use of timber as a building material. Timber is considered more environmentally sustainable than steel and concrete, and is increasingly being used in large structures for both government and commercial buildings.

“As well as being the third largest commercial timber structure in Australia, GovHub will transform the Civic Hall site into a huge shared community space and bring more jobs to the heart of Ballarat,” said Michaela Settle.

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