Another win at VCAT
This from our correspondent within the Orphanage site team…
The Historic and social significant site is heritage with Heart!
Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) today (17 October 2014)
A small group of former residents made their way to Melbourne to attend the VCAT meeting, also the council defense and developers lawyers were also present.
The meeting was to see where all parties were at present with their appreciations and outcome results from Council meetings. The developers submitted an appreciation to VCAT to have all former orphanage buildings demolished except the Kenny Memorial Toddlers Block and to make an entrance in the Stawell Street Brick wall. Bascially they wanted to overturn the Ballarat Council decision to save a lot of the site.
In reply Legal representative for Council stated that the Council decision had not changed, that the School House Building along with the Stawell street wall was to remain intact and not to be demolished.
The lawyer for the Victoria Street Developers had stated the developers had withdrawn their decision to demolish the school house and Stawell Street wall; what former residents called the Wailing Wall. We were stunned with what their lawyer had said.
The former orphanage site buildings which will be saved from demolition are the Toddlers Block, the old School House buildings and the Stawell Street Wall. These buildings will all remain intact on the former orphanage site.
The Re- Zoning of the site is still in the Minister of Planning and no decision has been made.
Three years ago we rallied over 100 people to walk from the Alexandra Babies Home in Scotts Parade to the Former Ballarat Orphanage in Victoria Street in a friendly protest to save the site.
This shows no matter how small of a group unite stand your ground and stay truly in your beliefs you can achieve your goals. This outcome could not have been achieved without the former residents submissions sharing their stories, the Ballarat City Council decisions and support the wider community, especially Trades Hall and Ballarat East Network in their tremendous support.
My personal feelings? I’m ecstatic at the outcome today and many thanks to the developers for a change of heart.
Thanks so much to Ballarat Councillors and the Community, Trades Hall, Ballarat East Network and all the former residents who from day one stuck it out right to the end. Thanks Deb.
Hard work, hard yards and sticking together. Great words Deb, thank you for fighting so hard. Here are two films made about the work.
And this one is Deb’s story: