Heritage places are important to Ballarat’s community. These places are part of the rich tapestry of who we are as a community and connect us with our past. It is important that both our generation and future generations can enjoy what it is that we love about Ballarat.
Many heritage properties in Ballarat are at risk of becoming cases of ‘demolition by neglect’. Demolition by neglect occurs when a building is not maintained properly or is not being used. As a result, buildings will often fall into disrepair. There are many different reasons why a building is no longer maintained or in use and in some cases this has led to the loss of a part of Ballarat’s living history.
Through the ‘Preserving Our Heritage Strategy’ the City of Ballarat is undertaking an innovative approach to implement positive initiatives and strategies. Working in partnership with the community, the City is assisting and encouraging owners of heritage properties to preserve and maintain these important living places.
Specifically, the City of Ballarat is achieving this by investigating and implementing actions in the following areas:
Building a Strategy for the preservation of Ballarat’s Heritage
In June 2009, the City of Ballarat commenced work developing a strategy to combat ‘demolition by neglect’ and encourage conservation of heritage buildings, in response to community angst and frustration.
On 28 April 2010, Council adopted the Preserving Our Heritage Strategy. In addition,significant funding was committed and, subsequently, implementation of the strategy, in partnership with a wide range of organisations and the community, has commenced.
City of Ballarat Councillor and chair of the Ballarat Heritage Advisory Committee Samantha McIntosh said it was critical for Council to act to help protect an important part of Ballarat’s identity.
“While Council is limited in what it can do from a planning legalisation perspective, we believe that by taking a proactive, positive approach we can help prevent and certainly minimise the loss of heritage places through neglect in our community.“Ballarat is fortunate to have some of the finest examples of heritage architecture and most intact heritage streetscapes in the country.
“The strategy outlines a number of positive actions and incentives Council can explore to help build community pride and encourage conservation of heritage buildings and places.
“As the custodian of a number of significant public heritage buildings it is important Council takes the lead and sets an example through the maintenance and conservation of Ballarat’s historic public buildings.
“However, we understand that the conservation of our city’s heritage requires a multi-faceted approach and there is a lot more we can do to help the community to conserve and enhance heritage where possible.”