Our Significant Projects
Ararat Rural City is undergoing an economic and social infrastructure boom which will support growth in the region for decades to come.
Construction of the $450 million Ararat Wind Farm (AWF) has been completed and developed by RES Australia. The wind farm is located on rural land located approximately12 kms northeast of Ararat and comprises of 75 turbines. The wind farm can generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 123,000 homes. Ararat Wind Farm is the third largest wind farm in the Southern Hemisphere. The project created 165 direct jobs during construction and 15 ongoing jobs. Ararat Rural City is committed to renewable energy being a part of its future.
The Western Highway (A8) is being progressively upgraded as a four-lane divided highway between Ballarat and Stawell.The highway upgrades will decrease travelling times between Ararat and places East. These decreased travel times in the region will benefit businesses, employees and students travelling between Ararat, Ballarat and Melbourne.
The National Broadband Network (NBN) will provide high-speed broadband access to all Australian homes and businesses, improving access and communications across regional areas. Ararat Rural City and the surrounding region, known as the broader “Horsham Cluster”, has been chosen as one of the first areas in Victoria to receive the NBN Fixed Wireless service.
The Murray Basin Rail Project was announced in August 2015 by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews. The $416 million project is standardising and upgrading the entire Murray Basin rail network. Train lines from Geelong to Mildura, Manangatang, Sea Lake and Murrayville will be standardised, and the existing previously unused standard gauge connection between Maryborough and Ararat was reopened in January 2018. This connects regional Victoria to the ports of Portland, Geelong and Melbourne, as well as improving freight connections to southern New South Wales and South Australia. By enabling more freight to be moved by rail, the project will increase the efficiency of the freight network, remove around 20,000 truck trips to the ports each year and keep export industries competitive. The ports of Geelong and Portland will more actively compete for bulk export freight from the Murray Basin. Major works commenced in the second half of 2016 and 270 jobs were created during construction.
A business case has been developed to extend the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline to provide water to the farm gate in the region surrounding Ararat where groundwater and surface catchments are unreliable. The pipeline extension will reach into these agricultural areas so that, agricultural productivity and growth could be enhanced in this region by the installation of a reticulated water delivery network. A piped water supply would also provide ongoing water security for townships in the region as well as significant economic, social, recreational and environmental benefits to the region.
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The $6.2 million upgrade will transform the existing precinct located in the Ararat Town Hall – which houses the Ararat Regional Art Gallery and the Ararat Performing Arts Centre – into a modern focal point for the region’s art activities and exhibitions. The project will refurbish and expand the Victorian-era built Ararat Town Hall, including the award-winning 1978 extension overseen by renowned architect Graeme Gunn. The redevelopment will deliver greater and more flexible exhibition, performance and storage spaces, a facility capable of exhibiting the Gallery’s permanent collection which is currently mostly in storage, and an enhanced front entrance to improve access for people of all abilities.
This report was comissioned by eight local government councils in western Victoria, and covers the area from Ararat to the South Australian border and from Yarriambiack in the north to Glenelg Shire in the south. The report deems a return to rail as not only feasible but vital for each community, their surrounding districts for more opportunity in jobs, education, health, friends, shopping and sport. The Report is based on extensive investigation, and many meetings with councillors, council officers, business leaders, educational and health services and residents in the region.