Cr Samantha McIntosh Mayor of Ballarat
BALLARAT is making its mark.
2017 has been an incredibly successful year for our great City. Ballarat is a city not afraid to embrace new challenges and opportunities. And the results speak for themselves. We have secured $330 million in federal and state government grants, and achieved $225 million worth of investment injected into our CBD. This year, we held the first AFL game in Ballarat – an event that attracted a crowd of about 11,000 footy fans with far-reaching economic benefits for our city’s traders, including hotels, motels, restaurants and bars.
We also realised the opening of our magnificent, AFL-standard Mars Stadium – a $21.976 million redevelopment, fully funded by the State Government. We held Australia’s first regional White Night in March, attracting a 40,000-strong crowd to the streets of Ballarat to witness the city’s renowned streetscapes and iconic buildings illuminated, and recently secured our second White Night event, set to be held in 2018. We also held our second Winter Festival, which attracted more than 110,000 people to Ballarat in the heart of winter – turning a traditionally slow period for our traders into a hive of activity. In yet another coup for our city, Ballarat was confirmed as the host of the Cycling Australia Road National Championships for another three years. We are constantly working on delivering a range of projects of paramount importance to our city. We have received government funding for projects including the GovHub at the Civic Hall site, the Mair Street upgrade, the Ballarat Railway Station Precinct, and the Ballarat West Employment Zone. We have also secured $9 million in state funding and $10 million in federal funding for the Ballarat Sports and Events Centre. These bold plans not only attract government and private investment to our city, they deliver jobs, drive tourism, improve transport infrastructure, boost innovation, and deliver state-of-the-art facilities for our community. Most importantly, they create opportunities for Ballarat to leverage for many more years to come. Recently a City of Ballarat delegation joined Mayors and CEOs from our surrounding regional cities at the Regional Cities Victoria Annual Forum to outline our priorities to both Premier Daniel Andrews and Opposition Leader Matthew Guy. This is nothing new. The City of Ballarat is continually advocating for a range of major projects integral to our strategic vision as a progressive, innovative and flourishing city. Our responsibility as a Council is to ensure that we work with state and federal governments to ensure these projects are delivered to the standard that the community of Ballarat deserves. We know we have more work to do. We are not content to rest on our laurels. Among other initiatives, we are working to attract funding to big picture initiatives such as the Aviation Emergency Services Hub, which will deliver an Australian-first centre for all emergency aviation services statewide. We are excited about the next 12 months and beyond. We have our sights firmly set on a better, brighter and more dynamic future for Ballarat. Our long list of achievements is no mean feat for a regional Victorian city. They are significant milestones that elevate our city – singling us out as a City not only with major aspirations but concrete plans to turn our dreams for greatness into a reality.