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Regional City of Ballarat

Victoria’s third-most populous city, rich in culture and history and a centre for manufacturing, health, education and retail

Local Government Area (LGA) City of Ballarat
Neighbouring Local Government Areas  Golden Plains, Hepburn, Moorabool, Pyrenees
LGA Population, 2019 109,505
Estimated Population, 2036 145,926
Population Growth between 2014-2019 1.85%, an increase of 1,918 per annum
Forecast Population Growth 1.73% per annum from 2016 to 2036
Output $6.11 billion Gross Regional Product

Map of Victoria highlighting Ballarat

Steeped in history, Ballarat is Victoria’s largest inland city, founded on the wealth of the famous Victorian gold rush, a legacy that continues today in Ballarat’s grand architecture and streetscapes.

Located 110km northwest of Melbourne, Ballarat is a major manufacturing, health, retail and education centre, and the principal service centre for the eastern part of the Grampians Central Highlands Region.

Ballarat represents both historic and contemporary regional Victoria. The city contains a mix of established residential and greenfield areas, with a number of historic streets and houses in the central part of the city.

Culture and lifestyle

Ballarat has a thriving arts, tourism and cultural scene. The city is strongly influenced by its gold rush history, which sets it apart from other regional cities. The Art Gallery of Ballarat, established in 1884, is Australia’s oldest and largest regional gallery, with a comprehensive collection of Australian art.

Ballarat has a diverse offering of entertainment including, local theatrical performances, music at local bars and pubs, larger international acts, and performances at iconic venues like Her Majesty’s Theatre. The city hosts various festivals throughout the year, including the Rockabilly Festival, Begonia Festival and Heritage Weekend. Ballarat also hosts a Chinese Mooncake Food Festival.

Employment, industry and infrastructure

Ballarat has about 8,857 businesses and a workforce of approximately 54,500 people.

Health Care and Social Assistance is the primary employment industry in Ballarat, followed by Retail Trade, Construction and Education and Training. In the five year period 2014-2019, there was strong employment growth in Construction, Health Care and Social Assistance, Education and Training, Retail Trade, Accommodation and Food Services, Professional, Scientific and Technical Services and Public Administration and Safety.

In terms of Gross Value Added activity, Health Care and Social Assistance is the largest performing sector in Ballarat, generating $804 million in 2019. Construction, Manufacturing and Education and Training are also key industry sectors.

Ballarat is in a key strategic position with four main highways (the Western, Midland, Glenelg and Sunraysia) connecting it to the industrial centres of Melbourne, Adelaide, Geelong and Portland; the regional cities of Bendigo and Mildura; and agricultural areas in the Mallee and Wimmera. Melbourne International Airport and the ports of Melbourne and Geelong are located within a one-hour travel time of Ballarat.

Major BusinessesIndustry
MaxiTrans Transport equipment manufacturing (trailing)
FMP Group Transport equipment manufacturing (brake and friction materials)
McCain Foods Fruit and vegetable processing (frozen food)
Mars Sugar and confectionary manufacturing (snack foods)
IBM Computer system design and related services
Haymes Chemical manufacturing (paint products)
Ballarat Health Services Health care and social assistance
Federation University Australia  Tertiary education
Alstom Rail infrastructure

The RDV information portal has more detailed data and statistics on the Ballarat region and regional Victoria more broadly.

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