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Protecting Ballarat Railway Station's bluestone blocks

11 September 2019

Historic bluestone blocks recovered from the Ballarat Railway Station redevelopment site will be re-used in goods shed conservation works.
The bluestone was recovered from the Heritage Victoria endorsed demolition of platforms on the outside of the south east end of the goods shed.
A stonemason has also inspected the recovered bluestone and will sort and categorise each stone prior to beginning the goods shed works.
City of Ballarat Mayor Cr Samantha McIntosh said Council took its heritage protection responsibilities very seriously.
“We know the Ballarat community wants us to preserve our historic assets so we have made sure we have strong heritage protections in place in order to do this,” Cr McIntosh said.
“On the Ballarat Railway Station redevelopment we have worked closely with the State Government and Heritage Victoria to ensure we protect every heritage element on the site, including the bluestone blocks that will be a valuable and historic addition to the goods shed works.”
A report outlining policies and procedures used to protect Ballarat’s heritage was tonight presented to Ballarat City Council.
The report particularly looks at the historic Ballarat railway precinct and goods shed preservation.
Ballarat is considered a world leader in heritage management, is a League of Historic Cities board member and has been an invited UNESCO Organisation of World Heritage Cities participant.
For several years, Ballarat has also been a pilot city for implementing UNESCO’s Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) public participation approach to managing heritage places.
Heritage is of critical importance to the Ballarat community, with the Our People, Culture & Place: A plan to sustain Ballarat’s heritage 2017-2030 strategy adopted in December 2017.
Current policies, procedures and methods for local heritage protection includes:
•    Educating and providing leadership regarding heritage’s importance
•    Providing heritage advice to Council’s Statutory Planning Unit on Heritage Overlay planning applications
•    Providing advisory comments to Heritage Victoria on permit applications concerning local Victorian Heritage Register sites, including the Ballarat Railway Precinct
•    Input into current strategic planning projects 
•    Responding to heritage inquiries from local stakeholders
•    Advocacy to the State Government on heritage issues 
•    Advocacy to the Federal Government and internationally on heritage matters
The ongoing heritage program includes:
•    A Heritage Gaps Review addressing heritage protection gaps and delivering relevant new controls through local area planning scheme amendments
•    A CBD Regeneration Program to deliver a conservation outreach program for private and commercial heritage property owners within the CBD to help with verandah and shopfront restorations
•    A Skyline and Strategic View Assessment to undertake historic landscape and skyline appraisals
•    A Neighbourhood Character Study to identify residential character across the city, including heritage values, and how they should be protected in the planning scheme