SINCE the publication in April of my piece on Ballarat's railway heritage, I've had a number of discussions with various groups and people about the need to do something about the protection of that heritage.
For the most part, the discussions have been positive, but in the case of Mike Caldwell's at times vitriolic and personal attack on people taking an interest in the subject (
The group has always been in favour of improved rail services, both for passengers and goods.
That is why it was decided to include the word "Promotion" rather than "Heritage" in its name .
The group's priorities for action have concentrated around practical action to retain and utilise the heritage infrastructure and facilities.
The group has never had anything but support for its activities from the station masters and other railway staff .
By contrast, Mike Caldwell stood out as a virulent opponent to the automation of the Lydiard Street railway gates, an action supported by the Ballarat Council, State Government and VCAT .
Where I do agree with Mike is on the sad fact is that official and legislative recognition of the heritage importance of the Station precinct has not been transformed into practical action — there's no point to keeping the heritage assets, no matter how wonderful they might be, if we're not prepared to look after them.