An important Local Jobs First and regional project, the Ballarat GovHub is supporting the creation of jobs across local industry.

This exciting project is being delivered through a joint venture (JV) between Melbourne based Kane Constructions and Ballarat based local company Nicholson Constructions. This project blends local construction expertise with large-scale construction knowledge, making it a ‘once in a generation’ partnership.

A one-hundred-million-dollar development the GovHub will be a one-stop-shop for a range of government services, centralising the delivery of these services to communities located in the region.

Upon completion, it will also be the largest multi-storey mass timber office to be built in Victoria to date.

Located at the redeveloped Civic Hall site in the heart of Ballarat, the GovHub will be home to up to one-thousand government employees, including six-hundred new public sector positions in the city.

During the construction phase, approximately five-hundred new jobs were created – generating new opportunities for Victorian businesses and workers in the region as well as opportunities for collaboration across local industry.

The JV has generated a platform to upskill local workers and transfer new expertise across the region, whilst providing a platform to capitalise on smaller suppliers and subcontractors located within regional Victoria.

Nicholson Constructions Director, Richard Nicholson said: “The partnership between Kane and Nicholson has not only been successful, it has also delivered great value and great outcomes for the project and the region.”

The Local Jobs First policy which includes the Major Project Skills Guarantee (MPSG) is fundamental in supporting and generating increased opportunities for Victorian SMEs including apprentices, cadets and trainees to participate in large-scale government projects such as the GovHub.

To date, the GovHub project has provided employment opportunities for twenty-five apprentices through the MPSG.

The ongoing commitment of Kane Constructions and Nicholson’s to support local SMEs is apparent through the use of Victorian-based products throughout this project. Some of these include the façade of the building which was pre-manufactured in Melbourne and delivered to site for installation, specialised formwork manufactured in Sunshine, as well as the use of Australian steel and Victorian manufactured plaster for use on the fit-outs of the building.

We have seen numerous local products and SMEs come together to deliver on this exceptional soon to be completed project including Krause Bricks from Stawell, Eascom Electrical from Bendigo, Eureka Concrete from Redan, Haymes Paint from Ballarat and Go Traffic from Geelong and Bendigo to name a few.

Managing Director of Eascom Electrical, Jason Thomas said: “It’s been exciting to have an array of local regional companies given the opportunity to work on such projects like the GovHub while being able to provide new job opportunities for locals as well as the opportunity to upskill new apprentices. This is a great outcome.”

Investing in the use of local SMEs and workers, not only provides economic benefits to Victoria, but it also enables us the opportunity to invest in the future of Victorian workers.

The construction phase of this project has seen the use of local concreters, bricklayers, plumbers, plasterers, cranage and concrete pumping. These are just some of the many services local SMEs and workers in the region have provided.

With approximately sixty-three independent companies providing goods and services from the Ballarat township, the GovHub is a prime example of a project that is helping support local industry and workers within regional Victoria.

Furthermore, this JV is also providing a learning experience for students studying a Construction and Building diploma at Federation University. A strategic ongoing partnership with the university has allowed for students and lecturers to visit the GovHub site and gain firsthand experience regarding the design, construction and compliance issues of a multi-storey timber structure – increasing workforce capabilities and equipping the next generation of workers with the skills they need to succeed.

Local Jobs First Commissioner, Don Matthews had the opportunity to visit the GovHub site and said: “This project has provided great opportunities for local industry, SMEs and workers within the Ballarat region and surrounding areas. Not only have we seen a strong commitment to using Victorian goods and services, it is also enabling a learning platform for students. It is great to see the ongoing investment in regional Victoria.”

The ongoing investment in regional Victoria through large-scale government projects will continue to increase opportunities for local SMEs and provide different platforms to build workforce capabilities in the regions with the support of the Local Jobs First policy and with many more large-scale projects such as the Bendigo TAFE and Kangan Institute redevelopment we will see many more opportunities for local SMEs in the near future.

The Govhub is one of many projects in regional Victoria to help grow investment and businesses in the regions whilst supporting local industry through the Local Jobs First policy.