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Ballarat West Employment Zone boosts more local jobs


Three tall, aeroplane tail-like signs with BWEZ branding on the side of a road with paddocks in the background.

The Ballarat West Employment Zone (BWEZ) is a major success story for local job creation, with works on track to surpass expectations for the number of local workers, suppliers and materials sourced during construction.

Delivered by Development Victoria on behalf of Regional Development Victoria, Stage 2 of the project is being established by building firm Winslow Constructors.

The project is expected to be home to 1,200 workers when Stage 2 construction is completed. It is already a major jobs boon for locals with around 600 full-time equivalent workers set to take up roles through businesses established during the first stage of development.

Winslow is sourcing almost all materials from local suppliers during the ongoing build and is on track to make sure half the 136 construction jobs go to locals, which exceeds the Local Jobs First Policy targets. The policy ensures opportunities are created for Victorian businesses and workers, including apprentices and trainees.

Under the policy, builders are required to commit to sourcing a high percentage of goods and work hours from local suppliers and personnel. Winslow Construction has committed to sourcing 98% of building materials from local suppliers during civil works, which are now underway on BWEZ Stage 2.

The company is on track to exceed these commitments, with the project so far procuring 98% of building materials locally, including 100% of the asphalt and conduits used to protect electrical wiring.

BWEZ’s second stage includes drainage, gas, water, electrical and NBN connections along with internal roadworks, laying the foundations for the creation of an industrial precinct close to Ballarat Airport.

Once completed, companies including McCallum Disability Services and Dahlsens Ballarat will begin construction of their on-site facilities. This will take the number of ongoing jobs created at the precinct to 1,200 and generate $171 million in investment.

Companies already located on site include CHS Broadbent, Kane Transport, Luv-A-Duck, Westlab and Athlegen.

The Ballarat West Employment Zone was announced in 2015 as a $30 million joint initiative with the City of Ballarat to support economic growth over 2 decades.

Since then, the Victorian Government invested another $14.4 million to support delivery of the Intermodal Freight Hub within the precinct. The Federal Government has also backed the freight hub, contributing $27.8 million.