Council acts on protest signs

WHEN Patrick van Raaphorst put up protest signs in his Armstrong Street South front yard, he never thought they would contravene heritage rules.

Unhappy: Patrick van Raaphorst with the protest signs outside his Armstrong Street South home. PICTURE: LACHLAN BENCE

Unhappy: Patrick van Raaphorst with the protest signs outside his Armstrong Street South home. PICTURE: LACHLAN BENCE

But Ballarat City Council has ordered the signs be removed because his property is in the CBD heritage overlay.

“They are undermining my right to freedom of expression,” Mr van Raaphorst said.

“If you can’t put up political signs, are no smoking signs or real estate signs exempt?”

Mr van Raaphorst erected the placards after being angered by “unnecessary” roadworks outside his home, which he said had ruined the intersection at the corner of Skipton and Armstrong

streets.

“I’m disgusted by the dysfunctionality. It’s a death trap and the road is too narrow now. They’ve made it worse, as far as I can tell.”

The artist and volunteer worker created the signs, which include “Corruption rules the council fools”, and put them in the  yard outside his home.

However, he received a letter last week advising him the council had received complaints they were having a “detrimental effect on the amenity of the area”.

“In fact, I’ve received many compliments on the signs,” he said.

The council’s chief executive officer, Anthony Schinck, said signs within the CBD heritage overlay required a planning permit.

“Council appreciates Patrick’s right to express his views and recognises that the signs have been up for some time,” Mr Schinck said. “Council has no choice with regard to enforcing heritage overlay restrictions.

“We have made an approach to Patrick to request that he remove the signs or alternatively apply for a permit.”

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop