Bridge Mall concept designs will go before Ballarat City Council on Wednesday 24 November.
If endorsed, the concept designs will be used to complete detailed final designs, cost planning and capital work tendering, with final concepts due to be completed early next year.
The concept designs are the result of extensive consultation with the community, traders, landowners and other special interest groups.
The co-creation phase with the community revealed people wanted to keep the centralised ‘town square’ feel, while also being a place to meet with others, get things done, access services and attend special events and activities.
Critical elements to be reflected in the designs include:
- Must embed Wadawurrung connection to country, tell the story of the Yarrowee (Yaramlok) River and refer to the land prior to white settlement
- Must reflect the city’s relationship to waterways and natural environment
- Must include a strong element of play and discovery so young people and families can linger
- Be accessible for all, including people who currently use and love the Bridge Mall
- Be a vibrant trade destination
Key design features will include:
- Extending the Sturt Street gardens along Grenville Street to connect the city with the Yarrowee River and Canadian Creek trails and provide new places to sit, meet and enjoy.
- Successfully bringing together retail and trading alongside shared community and event spaces.
- Bridge Street to be reserved mainly for pedestrians with some shared paths for cyclists and with safe car access, plus plenty of adaptable places to sit, eat, meet and enjoy.
- A new 30-metre-long play space on the Bridge Mall’s southern side to maximise sunlight and provide a family focal point. Detailed design still to come.
- New tree planting and landscaping in Little Bridge Street with redevelopment of the bus stop.
- Introducing an arbour styled covering and new shelters in Coliseum Walk to encourage outdoor dining and trading.
- Inspiration for a detailed materials palette to come from Wadawurrung and Yarrowee River shapes, connections and ideas.
- Precinct lighting will include functional, façade, feature and event focused lighting that will highlight Ballarat’s architectural history and heritage.
City of Ballarat Chief Executive Officer, Evan King said the concept designs – if endorsed at Wednesday’s Council Meeting – would provide a solid basis for the final Bridge Mall/Street designs to be created.
“The Bridge Mall/Street revitalisation has been in the pipeline for quite a while but it is vital we get these concepts right and really listen to what the community wants for this important retail and CBD centre,” Mr King said.
“Between extensive community co-creation and by working closely with our design firm Hassell, we believe we will be able to create a Bridge Mall/Street that will restore this precinct to a thriving and vibrant ‘town square’ where people of all ages will want to linger longer.”
Budget planning for 2022/23 underway
Ballarat City Council is seeking input from residents on the 2022-2023 annual budget, based on its Council Plan 2021-2025 priorities.
A survey is now available at the City of Ballarat’s MySay page until Sunday 28 November asking residents to prioritise the Council Plan’s 46 goals and objectives to help inform the 2022/23 financial year budget.
Residents are asked to rank the Council Plan’s six goals in order of priority, and then provide their top five priorities from its 40 strategic objectives.
City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Daniel Moloney said it was vital to get an idea of what the community’s priorities were before formulating the next financial year’s budget.
“We want to know what projects and strategies our residents want us to spend their rate money on,” Cr Moloney said.
“Rates are one of our two biggest income sources and we need to make sure we are using those funds responsibly and transparently.”
Considerations when developing Ballarat City Council’s 2022/23 budget include:
- Rate capping’s impact on the ability to pay increasing costs
- The impact of a growing community and the need to provide new and upgraded roads, parks, drains and other infrastructure
- Maintaining and renewing $2 billion worth of assets
- Delivering the services councils are legally required to provide
- Delivering existing services to a growing community
- The option of borrowing money to cover costs, particularly for large projects
Two of the largest City of Ballarat income sources are rates and Federal and State Government grants.
Rates allow the City of Ballarat to deliver over 80 services and $130.9 million in capital works.
This equates, for every $100 spent, to dollars allocated to:
- $19 for roads (capital works)
- $11 for community and open spaces (capital works)
- $10 for lands and buildings (capital works)
- $9 for waste
- $8 for community services
- $8 for governance and corporate services
- $7 for parks and recreation
- $7 for other infrastructure (capital works)
- $4 for attractions and events
- $4 for maintaining roads
- $4 for planning and development
- $3 for family and children’s services
- $3 for maintaining facilities
- $3 for plant and equipment (capital works)
After the survey closes, internal consultation and draft budget development will take place between November and March 2022.
A draft budget is scheduled to be made available for public exhibition during May 2022.