Heritage places in the Warrnambool City Council area will be listed on a new State-wide online database, thanks to a $3,000 grant through the Brumby Government’s Victoria’s Heritage Grants program, Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney announced today.
Ms Tierney said the Warrnambool City Council was one of 13 local councils to receive a heritage study digitisation grant in a special ‘early bird’ round of grants offered to all councils.
“This grant will see information from the Warrnambool City heritage study digitised and stored electronically in an online database being managed by the State Government agency Heritage Victoria,” Ms Tierney explained.
“It’s basically taking important paper-based information about our local heritage and saving it in a secure, accessible way, so that it can’t be damaged or lost over time.”
Planning Minister Justin Madden said the information will eventually be made available to the general public through the new searchable online tool, the Victorian Heritage Database at www.heritage.vic.gov.au.
“By making State and local government heritage information available on the one site, we hope to build an invaluable resource for heritage professionals and the general public,” Mr Madden said.
“For example, if you are considering buying a property, you could use the site to identify whether it has State or local heritage protection and find out more about it’s history and significant features,” he explained.
As well as information about places and objects with State heritage protection, the Victorian Heritage Database already includes heritage places in the City of Greater Geelong and Hobsons Bay City.
“These two councils were the first to take up the opportunity to be part of the online Victorian Heritage Database, making their heritage listings available to the general public,” Mr Madden said.
“These digitisation grants are the first step in assisting other local councils to join this fantastic internet resource, and we hope all 79 councils will be on board within five years,” he explained.
A major benefit of the digitisation grants is the transfer of old and often fragile hard-copy records to digital, thereby enhancing the security, permanency and accessibility of the information.
Thirty-four local councils have now received digitisation grants since they were introduced in 2006.
The heritage studies of previous grant recipients are currently being digitised and will be made available to the general public online at the discretion of each local council