Construction on the $18 million Hycel Technology Hub at Deakin University's Warrnambool campus is expected to start early next year.
Warrnambool campus director Alister McCosh said the process of appointing contractors could begin after the city council voted to rezone land. The decision clears the way for the hycel centre which will be home to projects investigating the use of hydrogen in industries, including trucking and buses.
Councillors unanimously backed rezoning the farm land to public use zone 2.
"We appreciate the councillors have agreed to the amendment," Mr McCosh said.
"We've got an opportunity now to not only move forward on hycel project, but we've got an opportunity to have other industry commercial partners at the campus.
"Hopefully it paves the way for other announcements and opportunities in the future."
Mr McCosh said it was hope the technology hub, which is is expected to create 210 full-time regional and sector jobs including those in cell manufacturing and pilots across the region over the next 10 years, will be completed by the end of 2022.
Cr Blain said he was happy to support rezoning the land.
He said he hoped it would allow the hycel project to progress.
The council received a submission from the EPA on the application, asking whether the land was suitable for the intended use.
"The purpose of Ministerial Direction No 1 Potentially Contaminated Land is to ensure that potentially contaminated land is suitable for a use which is proposed to be allowed under an amendment to a planning scheme and which could be significantly affected by any contamination," the report submitted to the council states.
"The investigation establishes the past land use history (years 1889 to 2020) at the site and surrounds and confirms the amendment does not re-zone any land that is used, or known to have been used, for industry, mining or the storage of chemicals, gas, wastes or liquid fuels.
"Having regard to the above, there are no known events or activities which may have caused potential contamination to the land. The amendment is therefore consistent with Minister Direction No.1 Potentially Contaminated Land."
Minister for Trade and federal member for Wannon Dan Tehan said earlier this year the project would be "world leading."
"At this campus, we will now be able to plot the future of hydrogen in this nation," Mr Tehan said.
"We will be able to contribute to one of the most important fuels going forward for our future energy mix," he said.
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