WARRNAMBOOL East Primary School pupils say the Fletcher Jones water tower is part of their heritage and worth saving.
Children from grades three and four gathered at the Fletcher Jones garden yesterday to call for the landmark silver ball to stay.
Warrnambool Planning and Heritage Group has called on 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.
Save our Ball spokeswoman Julie Eagles said the group was afraid the silver ball would continue to rust, look rundown and become unsafe.
“People in our community are starting to join together to show they care about it,” she said. “No other place has a silver ball and I reckon it’d be a real sad day for Warrnambool’s local character and identity if we lost it.
“The owner, Warrnambool City Council and Heritage Victoria all have a responsibility. They need to co-ordinate and make sure there is a structural assessment and then regular maintenance being done, but they seem to have dropped the ball, so to speak.”
Warrnambool City Council candidates Kylie Gaston and John Harris said the tripod-mounted ball was a part of Warrnambool.
“When I first came to Warrnambool there was an April Fool’s joke on the radio that the silver ball was going to be removed and there was such an uproar. It’s a real part of Warrnambool,” Ms Gaston said.
“You can see for the kids here it’s part of their heritage. It should be maintained.
“When you’re coming into Warrnambool and you see the ball you know exactly where you are.”
Mr Harris said it was a Warrnambool icon.
“As you drive down it’s the first thing you notice. The council role is to advocate the state government to help manage the restoration.”
Grade three pupil Merlin Clare said he liked to look at the ball from his backyard.
“I use it to tell people how to get to my house,” he said. “I want it to stay up. If we fix it we can use it for a water pump.”
Grade four pupils Grace Farrer and Sophie Mansbridge also want the ball preserved.
“The silver ball is part of Warrnambool and my school,” Grace said.