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    ON THE MOVE: Horsham Rural City Council depot staff will relocate from their Selkirk Drive site to Plumpton Road by 2025. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

Horsham council depot move brings opportunity

By Jessica Grimble 

A regional development leader says the relocation of Horsham’s council depot poses a tantalising opportunity for the city to reinvent itself. 

Wimmera Development Association chief executive Chris Sounness called for the region’s ‘brightest minds’ to consider how the Selkirk Drive land was best used for the future prosperity of Horsham and the wider region. 

Horsham Rural City Council has announced its purchase of a three-hectare facility on Plumpton Road, where it will base its operations depot and workshop from 2025.

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The council purchased the land from hay exporting firm Johnson Asahi, which is moving operations to the Wimmera Agricultural and Logistics Hub at Dooen.

Mr Sounness said the move posed a rare opportunity and encouraged the community to ‘think big’ . 

“With a regional city such as Horsham, and with such a significant move, it really does open up exciting opportunities for the city to reinvent itself,” he said. 

“Ensuring we get the brightest people thinking about how this part of the city can be drawn up to connect the river to the rest of the community will be important – bringing together those who can imagine an exciting future opens up a world of opportunities. 

“It would be exciting to see the community and Horsham Rural City Council and developers work hard to connect the existing City to River redevelopment plans and reinvigorate a central area of the city.” 

More than 100 people work from the current depot, which is located on land measuring more than three hectares. 

The council’s chief executive Sunil Bhalla said the council had investigated moving the depot from Selkirk Drive for many years.  

“There are a range of limitations with the current site including the incompatibility of heavy fleet movements through the city’s streets in the early morning and late afternoon,” Mr Bhalla said.

“Large trucks and graders have no choice but to drive through the CBD from the current location.

“The new site will provide better access for heavy vehicles, greater storage, a fleet workshop and more adequate staff amenities.”

He said the council was in the process of readying the depot for alternative land uses.

“As we have seen with the relocation of the livestock exchange, which used to be south of Hamilton Street, the inner-urban area is much better suited to residential or related development,” Mr Bhalla said.

The council’s acting depot manager Josh Hammond said pre-planning was critical to ensuring the site was fit-for-purpose and functional for work and staff requirements. 

He said last week’s announcement gave staff working from the depot certainty. 

“It’s been on the cards for a very long time. They have a certainty on it now that it’s happening,” he said. 


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The entire February 22, 2023 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!