A community discussion about future of rail in Ballarat

Q. Will the City of Ballarat continue advocating for a station at Warrenheip?

The City of Ballarat’s continued advocacy for a new park-and-ride railway station at Warrenheip is one piece of a much bigger big picture for rail in this region.

That particular proposal is intrinsically linked with the re-introduction of passenger rail services between Ballarat and Geelong – something Ballarat has long advocated for.

The reason this opportunity has been given greater prominence over recent time is that the Murray Basin Rail Upgrade includes a full reconstruction of the railway infrastructure between Ballarat and Geelong – but only for freight.

Leveraging the already committed upgrade to also include passenger trains is a fantastic opportunity to connect these two rapidly growing regional cities.

Warrenheip Station, in a practical sense, would also have room for a significant number of car parks – which provides a convenient option for many residents of Ballarat and the wider region as the city grows, enabling the Ballarat Railway Station to focus on being a CBD destination station.

A Rail Network Discussion Paper for Ballarat, as part of the Ballarat Integrated Transport Plan the City of Ballarat is currently developing, is now open for community feedback at mysay.ballarat.vic.gov.au

Q. What about stations in the growth area rail connections?

As part of the current phase of community consultation for the Ballarat Integrated Transport Plan we’re now undertaking, we have released the Ballarat Future Rail Network Background Paper which highlights the support for a Warrenheip Station and a station opposite Mars Stadium.

It also flags the need for future growth areas outside the current city boundary to be considered for direct railway connections – particularly if those new areas are along the Ararat or Maryborough lines, north and west of the city. You can view this document online at mysay.ballarat.vic.gov.au

In Victoria, the location of stations, their design, funding and operation are exclusively undertaken by the state government.

However, local councils have a strong advocacy role to play to ensure appropriate land use planning is in place.

The City of Ballarat plans for the future growth of the city over the very long-term, so while new stations are an important consideration, they are not a short-term prospect.

The community will have an opportunity to provide feedback on a discussion paper outlining opportunities and priorities for high-frequency public transport for developed/developing areas of Ballarat (including Ballarat West) over the coming months.

Consultation and next steps

Over the next four weeks the community has an opportunity to provide feedback on the Ballarat Rail Network Discussion Paper as part of the Ballarat Integrated Transport Plan.

This document is the first of a series of five discussion papers for different modes of transport to be released over the coming months.

Each discussion paper explores the opportunities and challenges of each mode of transport across Ballarat’s current network, including:

1. Rail network

2. Walking and pedestrian network

3. Public transport network (buses and trams)

4. Roads, streetscapes and emerging vehicle technology

5. Aviation

Following feedback from the community on each of the discussion papers, the City of Ballarat will develop and release the Ballarat Integrated Transport Action Plan.

Councillors are taking a strong leadership role in planning for major improvements to transport in Ballarat – and a truly world class future for the city.

To identify the most appropriate location for transport infrastructure over the short and long-term, we want to hear from you – those who use our public transport, who walk our streets and cycle and drive on our roads.

We also want to support a conversation about future trends and innovative solutions.

Your contributions will ensure we’re developing an action plan that responds to an appetite for an accessible future in Ballarat.

– Deputy Mayor Jim Rinaldi

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