WARRNAMBOOL’S iconic silver ball water tower at the old Fletcher Jones factory is worth fighting for, says city council candidate Kylie Gaston.
“It’s a piece of art in our skyline — a highly visible landmark that is part of a local legacy that a lot of people were associated with,” she said.
“I believe the city council should work closely with Heritage Victoria and the property owner to make sure the ball does not fall into disrepair.
“We will need to get around bureaucracy, but let’s start with the ball and re-evaluate the rest of the site later.”
Warrnambool Planning and Heritage Group wants the council and Heritage Victoria to pay for an assessment of the tower to determine repair costs.
The group is worried the tower and former factory buildings under heritage protection are falling into disrepair.
Ms Gaston, a restaurateur, said the city council needed to be smarter in working with external bodies to get funding.
“It’s about getting the best bang for our buck and not just keep relying on ratepayer funds,” she said yesterday.
“Major funding seems to stop at Geelong and we get forgotten down here.
“Let’s stand up and fight and move the funding stream further west.
“I will be pressing that issue as a delegate at next week’s VECCI convention in Geelong.
“It doesn’t take a lot to put pressure on government and I’d like to be part of the new council team to do that,” she said.
“The recent upgrade to Warrnambool’s rail freight terminal is a good example of what can be done with state funding.
“This project helps the whole community and improves safety by getting more trucks off the road.”
Ms Gaston also called for more passenger rail services and more modern carriages on the Warrnambool to Melbourne line.
Her time in recent days campaigning outside supermarkets has prompted her to call for the city council to renew its push against plastic shopping bags.
“These bags threaten the health of our beautiful rivers and ocean as well as animals,” she told The Standard.
“Aldi shoppers have been changing their habits so why can’t that be done at other supermarkets?
“It’s great to see the council’s recent climate action plan.
“If elected I’d be keen to see council work to be environmentally smarter and more fiscally aware,” she said.