Port Fairy's Battery Hill revamp

NICE PLACE: Gracie Bolte, 4, from Geelong, enjoys Battery Hill during her summer holiday stay in Port Fairy with her family. The area is being well used by the public. Picture: Anthony Brady
NICE PLACE: Gracie Bolte, 4, from Geelong, enjoys Battery Hill during her summer holiday stay in Port Fairy with her family. The area is being well used by the public. Picture: Anthony Brady

A MAJOR revamp of a Port Fairy landmark is proving to be a popular move.

Moyne Shire Council’s project to upgrade the Battery Hill area is bearing fruit with the spot being well used by visitors and locals during the summer.

Moyne Shire environment officer Richard Hodgens said the feedback from the public was pleasing.

“It is always good to see any public land being put to use and enjoyed,” Mr Hodgens said.

“Our goal when we started working on Battery Hill was to make it back into a place where people could use and wanted to go to.

“We are now seeing that people are coming back to the area and it is becoming an important public space again.” 

The restoration of Battery Hill has not been without controversy. 

The area has been a much-loved part of the town for generations and although it had fallen into disrepair, Mr Hodgens said change was not an easy sell.

“A lot of people in Port Fairy grew up mucking around at Battery Hill and playing in the shrub there,” Mr Hodgens said.

“But the woody weed and other weeds had strangled the place so something had to be done.

“We have done a lot of re-planting and it will get back to the type of area people remember, only this time a lot easier to control and maintain.

“In the past it has been a maintenance nightmare.”

Mr Hodgens said the community is playing its part in the process of taking Battery Hill forward.

The Lions and Rotary clubs have come on board to help with the maintenance of the area.

He also praised the work of Port Fairy resident Marten Syme.

“The work Marten has done at Battery Hill has been amazing,” Mr Hodgens said.

“He has a real passion for Battery Hill and he does the work to back that up.”

Mr Syme has been central in the discussions surrounding the care of the historic cannons at Battery Hill.

The state government has played a part in the restoration of Battery Hill, allocating $200,000 to the project. 

The works have also included the restoration of the historic flagstaff area at the top of the hill.