Funding secures future of historic fish hatchery

By Tim O’connor
Updated November 2 2012 - 6:43pm, first published January 30 2012 - 2:43pm
Looking up: The Ballarat Fish Acclimatisation Society vice-president Russell Fisher holds up a bag of fish while Ballarat Mayor Mark Harris, MP David Koch and president Dennis Bentley look on. Picture: Jeremy Bannister
Looking up: The Ballarat Fish Acclimatisation Society vice-president Russell Fisher holds up a bag of fish while Ballarat Mayor Mark Harris, MP David Koch and president Dennis Bentley look on. Picture: Jeremy Bannister

A FACELIFT is in order for a Ballarat hatchery thanks to $63,000 in state government funding.The Ballarat Fish Acclimatisation Society will use the money to complete restoration work on its Wendouree headquarters.The society’s main building requires substantial works to the roof, timber repairs and repainting as well as other upgrades to a small equipment shed.Society secretary Peter Burnett said the funding was vital for a project of this magnitude.“The building is in need of fairly significant repair. The roof isn’t quite as waterproof as a roof should be,” he said.“That’s a big ticket item, which is in excess of $30,000.“The hatchery records a small surplus each year, which generally goes back into other minor projects, (such as) upgrading of ponds. We are all volunteers, so virtually any profits we make go back into maintenance works.”Member for Western Victoria David Koch made last week’s funding announcement on behalf Minister for Planning Matthew Guy, saying the works would ensure the hatchery remained open and operable.“The hatchery was responsible for stocking state waters until the mid-1950s, pioneered the introduction of game fish into Australian waters and supplied fish and ova both interstate and overseas and now provides the only source of restocking wild trout in Australia,” he said.The grant was one of 13 Victorian community projects to receive government funding under the Victoria’s Heritage Grants program.

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