Horsham Rural City Council’s operations depot is set to move as part of a relocation plan that will free up prime land for development in the town.
The council has recently purchased a three-hectare facility on Plumpton Road where it will base its operations depot and workshop from 2025.
The land has been purchased from hay exporting firm Johnson Asahi which is moving its operations to the new Wimmera Agricultural and Logistics Hub at Dooen.
Chief Executive Officer Sunil Bhalla said Council had investigated moving from the Selkirk Drive facility 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,” said Bhalla.
“Large trucks and graders have no choice but to drive through the CBD from the current location,” he said.
“The new site will provide better access for heavy vehicles, greater storage, a fleet workshop and more adequate staff amenities.”
Council is in the process of readying the Selkirk Drive 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,” said Bhalla.
Bhalla said the Plumpton Road site would meet the current and future needs of council staff and serve the Horsham region more efficiently.
“The long-term benefits for the community and Council will be significant,” he said.
“From upkeep of parks, to fixing potholes and cracked footpaths, and providing weed management, our operations team is out every day in every corner of the region,” said Bhalla.
“We care about our frontline staff, so it is important this new facility delivers a modern and sustainable space to provide a safe and more productive working environment for them.”
Horsham Rural City Council said it will ensure the future needs of user groups located at the depot site will be met and will consult with these groups.