Ballarat Saleyards site - Joe McCracken in action

Ballarat Saleyards site never considered for permanent housing

Victorian Parliament’s Inquiry into the Commonwealth Games debacle continued today for day two of its hearing after Monday, October 9. And the grilling continued with more light shed on many things – otherwise having a different public perspective so far. And among them, the Ballarat Saleyards site.

The future of the Ballarat Saleyards site is no clearer following fresh revelations heard at the Victorian Parliament’s Inquiry into the Commonwealth Games debacle.

Speaking today at the inquiry, the Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) confirmed it didn’t cost or assess the full decontamination of the site and did not support its use as a location for ongoing residential housing.

This is despite commitments from the Labor Government, who in October 2022 identified the Ballarat Saleyards as the location for housing 1,800 athletes and officials and committing to “deliver a long-term investment in vital housing and community infrastructure”.

Furthermore, Homes Victoria have confirmed there are 1,459 Victorians on the priority waitlist for public housing in the Ballarat region.

Shadow Minister for Home Ownership and Housing Affordability, Evan Mulholland, said: “The Labor Government’s failure to deliver a permanent fix for this location was a missed opportunity for more affordable and accessible housing in Ballarat.

“Ballarat and regional Victoria are experiencing a housing affordability crisis, and shortcut solutions from the Labor Government will only make a bad situation worse.

Committee Deputy Chair and Member for Western Victoria Region, Joe McCraken, said: “The evidence heard today confirms the Labor Government was never serious about a permanent legacy housing at the Ballarat Saleyards.

“It’s clear there was never ever going to be any legacy at the site, despite promises of remediation and re-use.

“The Labor Government has turned its back on fixing this site and has abandoned the many Ballarat families in need of local affordable housing.”

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