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New fountain in Lake Wendouree to be switched on tomorrow

4 September 2019

Lake Wendouree’s forgotten fountain has been brought back to life thanks to the support of generous community members. 

Located opposite Racers Bar and Cafe in the lake’s south-east corner, the multi-tiered fountain will be switched on tomorrow (Thursday 5 September) at midday after a 37-year hiatus.  

Approximately 60m from the shore, the fountain propels water 12.5m into the air and is equipped with a colour-changing lighting system and three spray head styles. It will be in operation daily until 10.30pm. 

The new fountain is similar in design to the lake’s original Centenary Fountain, which was installed at the same location in 1980 by the Ballarat Water Commissioners (now Central Highlands Water) to celebrate its 100th anniversary and to mark the site from which the first piped water supply to Ballarat was taken in 1858. 

The Centenary Fountain proved a popular attraction for adventurous teenage swimmers, with a fence around the water feature proving to be no barrier to their fun. The fountain was removed in 1982 due to safety reasons and high maintenance costs. 

Ballarat residents and business owners Michael Stubbs and Malcolm Roberts generously donated $30,000 towards the cost of reinstating the fountain, with the City of Ballarat covering the remaining $37,000. 

"The idea of partnering with the Ballarat City Council for the creation of this unique water feature in Lake Wendouree came about from discussions with our wonderful mayor, Sam McIntosh,” Michael and Malcolm said. 

“(Cr McIntosh) recognises that through private philanthropic donations in partnership with the Ballarat Council, more community benefits can be achieved for the benefit of everyone in the community." 

"In most cities and major towns, the main water feature is always a highlighted location and the presence of a fountain in the lake draws people’s eyes towards to water. The effect of having it lit up, and even the possibility of music, means it can be linked up to any community event being held at the lake." 

Cr McIntosh said the fountain would allow the community to celebrate Lake Wendouree as they had in the past and they would long into the future. 

“Our community is absolutely blessed to have a lake with water in it. We have experienced a lake in the past without water and, now that it is back, it is really our time to embrace our history and heritage – another fountain that has been replaced, another fountain that has been restored, another fountain that has been gifted back to our community,” Cr McIntosh said. 

“People will be charmed, they will smile and they will have this beautiful vision of something they haven’t seen for many decades.” 

Images of the Centenary Fountain form part of Central Highlands Water’s Waterworks exhibition, on show at the Ballarat Mining Exchange shopfront until October 20 as part of Ballarat International Foto Biennale.