60 Facts About Ballarat


Ballarat is a city in the Central Highlands of Victoria, Australia.

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Ballarat subsequently became a thriving boomtown that for a time rivalled Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, in terms of wealth and cultural influence.

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Ballarat is known for its history, culture and well-preserved colonial-era heritage, with much of the city subject to heritage overlays.

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Ballarat region was first populated by the Wadawurrung people, an Indigenous Australian people.

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Ballarat attracted a sizable number of miners from the Californian 1848 gold rush, and some were known as Ballafornians.

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Civil disobedience in Ballarat led to an armed civil uprising, the Eureka Rebellion which took place in Ballarat on 3 December 1854.

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Ballarat played an important role in the Stolen Generation throughout the 20th century, where the Ballarat Orphanage saw Aboriginal children who had been taken from their families.

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In 2008 the City of Ballarat released a plan directing that growth of the city over the next 30 years is to be concentrated to the west of the city centre.

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Ballarat itself is situated on an alluvial basin of the Yarrowee catchment and its tributary creeks, penetrated by sub-ranges of schists composed of granites and quartz.

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The reach of the Yarrowee River toward Ballarat Central becomes a stormwater drain and is completely covered over as it flows under the CBD.

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The City of Ballarat defines two Major Activity Centres within the urban area – the Central Business District and Wendouree with a high concentration of business, retail and community function based primarily on the Melbourne 2030 planning model and a further 11 neighbourhood activity centres.

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The tallest building in urban Ballarat is the seven-storey Henry Bolte wing of the Ballarat Base Hospital .

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Beyond the central area, urban Ballarat extends into several suburban areas with a mixture of housing styles.

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Settlement patterns around Ballarat consist of small villages and country towns, some with less than a few thousand people.

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In 2003 Ballarat was the first of two Australian cities to be registered as a member of the International League of Historical Cities and in 2006 hosted the 10th World League of Historical Cities Congress.

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Recent restoration projects funded by the Ballarat include the reconstruction of significant cast iron lace verandahs including the Mining Exchange, Art Gallery, Mechanics institute on Lydiard Street and in 2010 the restoration of the Town Hall and the long neglected Unicorn Hotel facade on Sturt Street.

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Ballarat is home to the largest of a collection of Avenues of Honour in Victoria.

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Ballarat has an extensive array of significant war memorials, the most recent of which is the Australian Ex Prisoner of War Memorial.

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Ballarat has a moderate oceanic climate with four distinct seasons.

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Ballarat is unique in Australia—and internationally—for having retained much of its commons land, which can be used by any resident of Ballarat.

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Ballarat's waterways have historically been affected by heavy pollution from both mining and industry.

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The City of Ballarat released an Environment Sustainability Strategy for the city in 2007.

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Many parts of urban Ballarat have been affected by the introduction of exotic species, particularly introduced flora.

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Economy of Ballarat is driven by all three economic sectors, though contemporary Ballarat has emerged as a primarily service economy with its main industry being the service industry and its key areas of business including tourism, hospitality, retail, professional services, government administration and education.

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Ballarat is most notable for the award-winning open-air museum known as Sovereign Hill, a recreated 1850s gold mining settlement opened in 1970.

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The Ballarat Tourist Association is an industry based non-profit, membership organisation representing the city's tourism industry.

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The Ballarat North Workshops is a major manufacturer of public transportation products with current investment from Alstom.

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Ballarat has a large number of home-grown companies producing textiles, general industrial engineering, food products, brick and tiles, building components, prefabricated housing components and automotive components.

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Ballarat rose to prominence as a goldrush boomtown, though gold no longer plays a pivotal role in the economy of the city.

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An active quarrying industry with large enterprises including Boral Limited extracts and manufactures building materials from the Ballarat region, including clays, aggregates, cements, asphalts.

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The Ballarat Livestock Selling Centre is the largest cattle exchange in regional Victoria.

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Ballarat region has a rapidly growing renewable energy industry, in particular due to its abundant wind energy, attracting significant investment and generating revenue for local landholders and local councils.

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Ballarat is the 4th largest inland city in Australia, and the 3rd largest Victorian city behind Melbourne and Geelong.

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Ballarat's ethnic make up is partly the result of the mid 19th Century gold rush, where people of Celtic, Anglo-Saxon and East Asian descent emigrated here in the hope of landing a fortune.

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In state politics, Ballarat is located in the Legislative Assembly districts of Buninyong and Wendouree, with both of these seats currently held by the Australian Labor Party.

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In federal politics, Ballarat is located in a single House of Representatives division—the Division of Ballarat.

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The Division of Ballarat has been a safe Australian Labor Party seat since 2001, and was the seat of the second Prime Minister of Australia, Alfred Deakin.

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City of Ballarat is responsible for coordinating the Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee which prepares the Municipal Emergency Management Plan which is actioned in conjunction with local police.

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Ballarat has two local newspapers, one owned by Australian Community Media and one a private equity.

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The Courier is a daily and The Ballarat Times News Group is a free weekly.

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Ballarat was the hub of Australian Community Media's Victoria production and manufacturing with all printed material for the state coming from the Wendouree print site until it closed in September 2020.

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Television station BTV Channel 6 Ballarat commenced transmission of test patterns on 17 March 1962.

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Today Ballarat is serviced by numerous "free to air" High Definition and Standard Definition Digital television services.

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Ballarat television maintains a similar schedule to the national television network but maintains local commercials and regional news programming.

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Ballarat has two universities, Federation University and a campus of the Australian Catholic University.

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Ballarat has five State Government-operated secondary schools of which Ballarat High School is the oldest.

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Ballarat is home to many annual festivals and events that attract thousands of visitors.

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Ballarat has a lively and well established theatrical community with several local ensembles as well as a number of large performing arts venues.

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Ballarat Civic Hall is a large public building constructed in 1958 as a general purpose venue.

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Ballarat has its own symphony orchestra, the Ballarat Symphony Orchestra which was formed in 1987.

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Ballarat is the home to Australia's oldest and largest annual performing arts eisteddfod.

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Dance parties are popular within the Ballarat area; BTR is an organisation founded in 2006 that has begun hosting dance events in Ballarat.

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Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre on the corner of Drummond and Sturt Street includes a number of facilities focused on cancer treatment.

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Ballarat's residents are serviced by a wide range of public utilities including water, gas and electricity, telephony and data communications supplied, overseen and regulated by state based authorities and private enterprise and local council.

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Telstra was the first company to provide dial-up Internet access via the Ballarat exchange, however the first network for broadband Internet access available in the city was a hybrid optical fiber cable and coaxial cable built by Neighbourhood Cable in 2001.

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Since then, Telstra and Optus have entered the Ballarat market, providing Asymmetric digital subscriber line services for residential Internet access from four main exchanges—Ballarat, Wendouree, Sebastopol and Alfredton .

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Ballarat is connected to Geelong by rail via the Geelong-Ballarat railway line, which currently operates only for freight.

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CDC Ballarat operates the bus network covering the city centre, Ballarat and Wendouree stations, and most surrounding suburbs, contracted by Public Transport Victoria.

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Ballarat has a long history of cycling as a form of transport and recreation.

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The popularity of cycling in Ballarat is demonstrated by the large number of spectators and participants drawn to cycling sporting events held in the city.

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