I don’t know what the hell is happening to this country. It seems like any building that is more than a hundred years old the Government wants to either tear it down or flog it off. Why the blazes we give money to these so called Heritage departments is beyond me. To me it seems a waste of taxpayer’s money. I thought we paid these jokes to look after Australian heritage not bloody well just sell it off or simply let it rot until it eventually disappears before our very eyes.
Years ago up in Queensland, we had a Premier who didn’t wait for what the people thought, he didn’t even wait for it to decay, he simply hired a demolition crew to skulk in through the middle of the night and tear it down before the public could do anything about it. These so called representatives of the people were just a law unto themselves and it looks like the Victorian Government is no different.
We’ve seen over recent years many so called Heritage listed buildings and properties falling into the hands of developers and others who have neither the funds nor interest to look after such properties. In the case of the sale of the Beechworth Gaol to Salmore Developments it was just purely monetary gain and a lack of care or respect for Australian heritage. These are the people we trusted with the tangible evidence of our history. We can look at the Glenrowan siege site dug up by bulldozers all in the name of archaeology and then turned into a public park by the Wangaratta Council. Has anyone out there actually seen what great mysteries and artefacts were uncovered?
Now of course the archy boys have had a crack at the Ann Jones Inn site. You know; the place where five people lost their lives. They left the bulldozers at home on this occasion, but the outcome was very much the same as the siege site; a much changed (and not for the better) piece of ground. But this time they’ve covered it up so that they can return and pick at the bones while a film crew looks on. All of course for the sake of preserving our history.
But don’t go away folks; that’s not all. What about the Kelly house in Beveridge? Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. ‘Don’t tell me that place is still standing’? Well it is, but not for very much longer if nothing is done about it. This saga has been going on for years with little change but for the rebuilding of its blue stone chimney, thanks to the poultry handout from Heritage Victoria. But these buggers need to do a lot more than rebuild the bloody chimney and sticking up a wire fence. The property has been owned by David and Sharon Consiglio for a number of years and in that time little has changed. You can’t blame the current owners for the neglect that started many years before they took possession, but when buying a heritage listed property you had better make sure you have the funds to look after it for with its acquisition comes a huge responsibility. This is the only remaining home of Ned Kelly and his family. Surely it’s worth fighting for. A little bird tells me David will be starting some work on the old place in February so we’ll all be watching with upmost interest.
I know it’s easy to write about these disgraces, but until some faceless bugger appears from the corridors of power and can give out some explanations of why they are selling off and neglecting these Australian icons there is little else to do. Maybe some bright bugger out there can come up with a plan. To have my story heard I’d rob the Euroa and Jerilderie banks and have a siege at Glenrowan, but unfortunately for me they’ve all been demolished or dug up.