Monday, June 17, 2024

Federal LG Minister launches Greater Ballarat councils alliance

Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Catherine King has officially launched the Greater Ballarat Alliance of Councils (GBAC).  

GBAC, which replaces Central Highlands Councils of Victoria, is a newly formed grouping of six rural and regional councils located in and around Ballarat. It has been established to act as a united voice for member councils to tackle common issues such as trunk infrastructure needs of peri-urban growth areas and securing a fair share of Victorian and Commonwealth government funding for the Greater Ballarat region.

Minister King was joined at the launch by City of Ballarat Mayor, Des Hudson and several other mayors and CEOs of participating councils. Mayor Hudson has been appointed chair of the Alliance.

“Strong regional communities need strong regional voices and that is what the Greater Ballarat Alliance of Councils will deliver for our community,” said Mayor Hudson.

He said the Alliance will be focused on the three priority areas of enhanced public and private transport, enabling growth, and improving digital connectivity.

“GBAC’s transport objectives include expanded and improved bus and train services, upgraded roads, and more efficient freight routes.”

“As part of enabling growth, participating councils are focused on attracting new social and affordable housing, initiating planning law reform, and securing more supporting infrastructure.  

“The Alliance is also committed to ensuring that mobile broadband coverage is on par with metropolitan areas and resilient enough to sustain emergency communications in the event of bushfire and other natural disasters.”

The participating councils are City of Ballarat, Central Goldfields Shire Council, Pyrenees Shire Council, Hepburn Shire Council, Golden Plains Shire Council, and Moorabool Shire Council.  

“Working collectively will ensure better outcomes for our residents, especially those on the underserviced peri-urban fringes of Melbourne and Ballarat. That is why Moorabool Shire is proud to be a member of this Alliance,” said Mayor of Moorabool Shire Council, Rod Ward.

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