Letters to the Editor

The historical gatekeepers cottage rescued from demolition will find a home just north of the Botanical gardens.
The historical gatekeepers cottage rescued from demolition will find a home just north of the Botanical gardens.

Fast efficient train services need a station to go with them.

I applaud the Committee for Ballarat’s continuing pursuit of Government by advocating for fast efficient train services for Ballarat.

Whilst I support CfB for supporting a fast service, we need to remind everyone that the notion of a 60 minute service was proposed by then Premier Steve Bracks over ten years ago. What happened?

I have been advocating for some time now for fast efficient express services on the Ballarat line, dare I say a 45 minute service! Governments must now invest further in regional rail infrastructure, and make the 45 minute Ballarat express rail service a reality. As reported in The Courier, the Rail Futures Group and the Chief Economist from ComSec stated that this is imperative for Ballarat’s future.

It’s time now for all advocacy groups to show leadership and unite to push for a 45 minute service to and from Ballarat.  With fast efficient services, there will obviously be a further major increase in commuters in the near future.

Let me ask the Committee for Ballarat and Ballarat City Council where are commuters going to park at our Ballarat central station, when the Andrew’s government’s proposal for a ‘block of flats at the rail precinct reduces existing commuter car parking? How are commuters with mobility issues going to get to and from the platforms when there is no plan for disability access? And why are the dilapidated facilities on both platforms not being upgraded, as has been done at all other major stations on the line, for instance, Sunshine and Footscray?

I ask the Committee for Ballarat and Ballarat City Council to join Save Our Station and the majority of Ballarat Residents in advocating to Premier Andrews to abandon Labor’s proposal for serviced apartments and to reinvest the funds ($32 million) developing a 21st century Ballarat Rail station, and a fully integrated, all abilities accessible transport hub with adequate commuter parking for the long term future.

Ron Egeberg, Soldiers Hill

Casselli cottage location only temporary

Bill Crawford (Letters 19th September) is understandably concerned about the "wreck" sitting on a trailer in our North Gardens, however this is a temporary situation. The Friends of the Ballarat Gardens were given this cottage by its previous owners because of its historical significance, as one of the two original Gatekeeper's Cottages, designed in 1863 by the architect Casselli. One of our members generously paid for it to be relocated, and the Council facilitated this move. The Friends are extremely grateful not only to our member but also to Council, who have undertaken to restore the cottage. This unavoidably takes time to prepare foundations and finally site the cottage before restoration can be undertaken. Once restored, the cottage will be a very attractive building with great heritage significance.

The Friends, in consultation with Council, will then be extending the cottage so that we can use it as a much needed and valuable educational and information resource for visitors to the Gardens, and also for our ongoing BotaniKids events, which develop in the younger generation a love for, and appreciation of our magnificent Botanical Gardens. We ask Mr Crawford and the community to bear with us. Their patience will be rewarded.

Raoul Dixon, President, Friends of the Ballarat Botanical Gardens

I am happy to say that I was contacted by the Friends of the Botanical Gardens informing me it was not their intention for the cottage to be in the gardens but rather in the North Gardens near where it is now. If it was to be repaired and used for educational purposes, I am sure most Ballarat People would support it.

Bill Crawford, Wendouree.