BDCA Community Projects
For some 36 years a group of local volunteers had produced a hard -copy community newspaper in Buninyong. After placing the publication on-line in 2012, the group decided to cease production of the hard-copy version. This caused some distress to many of the community older residents, many of whom were not computer literate or who did not own a computer.
In October 2104, the BDCA agreed, as a community service, to undertake the project of again printing a hard-copy community newspaper on a monthly basis.
By early 2015, funding assistance had been obtained from the Township Community Engagement fund, from Council, and from the Community Bank to enable a commercially-printed version of the Buninyong & District Community News to be again produced. A ‘sample’ edition was distributed in February 2015, and the first new-look edition of 20 pages was printed and distributed in April.
Response to this project has been unanimously positive. Two years on and the newsletter is going from strength to strength, thanks to the support of the community and our advertisers.
The newsletter is distributed during the last weekend of the month and hard copies are available from the Post Office, the supermarket and the newsagency. Other shops/businesses will also have a limited number of copies for distribution.
The on-line version of the newsletter is available on the Buninyong website - www.buninyong.vic.au/news/newsletters
New Entrance Signage
Another recent successful BDCA project has been the erection of four new entrance signs to Buninyong. The $35,000 project was funded with grants from Regional Development, Victoria, the City of Ballarat and the Buninyong Community Bank
Solar lighting has already been installed at each location.
The signs featured prominently in the television coverage of the Australian Road National Cycling championships held in Buninyong in early January
The signs are located on the Midland Highway opposite the golf course, on the Midland Highway at the top of the hill coming from Geelong, on the Mt Clear/Mt Helen Rd entrance to Buninyong and south of Somerville St on the Mt Mercer Road
The signs were officially opened by the Deputy Premier, the Hon Peter Ryan, MLA on 10 April 2014,
DEPUTY PREMIER OPENS ROAD SIGNAGE
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan officially opened the village’s new entrance signage on 10 April 2014.
The signage was funded by a major grant from Regional Development Victoria, the City of Ballarat and the Buninyong Community Bank
Present at the function - held at the Buninyong Golf Club because of inclement weather - were two Legislative Council members, Simon Ramsay and David Koch, and member for Ballarat East Geoff Howard.
Senior executives from VicRoads and Regional Development Victoria also attended along with Chairman of the Community Bank Board Stephen Falconer, designer of the entrance signage, David Turley (DHT Consultant), master stone mason, Billy Elliott (Stonescene Northumbria), and BDCA members.
Mr Ryan said that the entrance signage project was “an excellent example of a community driven project that involved the community group working with State and local authorities to deliver a great result”
LOBBYING FOR TOWN HALL PRECINCT
In late 2013, the City of Ballarat announced that it planned to resurface the car-park area and undertake other minor works outside of the Buninyong Town Hall and the adjacent area.
The Association took the initiative in raising with senior Council officers the possibility of deferring those works in favour of preparing a detailed concept plan for a significant “village square” in the vicinity of the Town Hall.
The BDCA suggested that the village square might include expanded outdoor seating and meeting areas, additional shade tree planting, clear pedestrian walkways, revised car parking (and provision for one way travel by vehicles on the service road on the southern side of Learmonth Street, as recommended by the Buninyong Traffic Impact Study 2012.)
The use of appropriate paving materials, such as bluestone pitchers, and more planting of mature trees were mooted. It was also suggested that the existing street vine structures also be extended to create an arbour. The design of the square should be such that it could cater for events such as the market, village meetings, exhibitions,outdoor music and other cultural/community events and activities.
We now have a wonderful community meeting space. Not exactly as the BDCA had envisaged and lobbied for - but nevertheless a great space!
Street Vines Project Extended
The Vines January 2014
After their planting in October 2012, the Buninyong street vines are now taking really taking shape and we can expect some glorious autumn colour in the coming months. This project was initiated in early 2012 by the Association with the great cooperation of the City of Ballarat.
The vines, especially those on the southern side of Learmonth Street, are now well-established and are giving some idea of how the streetscape will look after a few more years.
Recent BDCA discussions with City of Ballarat have resulted in the Council's commitment to extend the vines further along Warrenheip Street. We expect some planting later in the year.
History and hi-tech meet in Buninyong
Locals and visitors to Buninyong will now be able to learn much more about its many historic buildings following the erection of plaques to twenty-six sites in the village.
The ‘plaques’ project was another initiative of the Buninyong & District Community Association (BDCA) designed to add to the historical character of the village and to boost local business by bringing more visitors to Buninyong.
Each plaque contains brief details of the building’s history and former owners or uses, and also an historic photograph in cases where the building no longer exists. While such plaques can be seen in some other old towns and cities, the Buninyong project has taken a technological leap forward with the installation of QR codes adjacent to many of the plaques. These codes enable access, via a smart phone or tablet, to a website where considerably more historical information can be found about the building or site in question. The detailed background historical information was compiled by local historian Dr Anne Beggs-Sunter.
City of Ballarat Heritage Coordinator Susan Fayad said that the use of the QR code technology “was a first for Ballarat for the purpose of community and visitor information”.
“This exciting initiative has been completely community driven and will set a benchmark for heritage interpretation across the municipality. It will help build appreciation for Ballarat’s and Buninyong’s heritage” Ms Fayad said.
Coordinator of the “plaques” project Barry Fitzgerald said that the project would now complement the recent publication of the new 24 page colour Buninyong Visitor Guide which included sections on the village’s old buildings and sites and which included a map of an Historical Village Walk which took walkers past most the buildings with plaques on them. “There’s been a very positive reaction from both visitors and locals, many of whom were unaware of the colourful background to many of the village’s buildings” he said
The erection of the plaques was a joint project of the Buninyong & District Community Association and the local Historical Society. Funding for the project came from grants from the Buninyong Community Bank and from the City of Ballarat’s Community Impact Grants
VILLAGE SIGNAGE SET FOR UPGRADE
In another BDCA village enhancement project, the Association currently is working with City of Ballarat’s Co-ordinator of City Image and Public Realm, architect Tim Grace, to significantly upgrade various forms of signage in Buninyong. There has been little work done on all forms of signage in the village for many years, and the cluttered ‘finger-post’ outside of the old bank is clear evidence of this.
There are three forms of signage involved in the current project: