BDCA Community Projects
The City of Ballarat will develop a Buninyong Township Plan in early 2018. The BDCA has taken several initiatives concerning this.
A major exercise in conjunction with the Buninyong Community Bank was undertaken in June 2017 when Community Development/Planning expert, Peter Kenyon, led two workshops with community members.
The results of community input at these workshops have been compiled into a report (link to report) which highlighted community priorities such as:
The BDCA will take an active leadership role in working with the City of Ballarat to ensure that the Township Plan reflects community priorities.
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 was printed and distributed in April.
Response to this project was unanimously positive. The 20 page newspaper was produced eleven times a year since then, until ceasing production in February 2022. It is the intention of the BDCA that publication re-commence after community consultation regarding the type and style of the News, and how to supplement it with social media and other forms of digital communication.
A member of the Community Newspapers Association of Victoria, the Buninyong Community News has received CNAV awards in categories such as design, history articles and editorial comment.
New Entrance Signage
Another 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,
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 UPGRADED
In another BDCA village enhancement project, the Association working with the City of Ballarat, planned for the significant upgrade various forms of signage in Buninyong. There had 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.
Heritage signage has now been erected at eight locations around the village