Council to investigate kiln funding

Bacchus Marsh Lions Club members at the historical Chicory Kiln. (Damjan Janevski) 355633_01

Moorabool council is going to investigate how it can assist the final stages of restoring the historic Bacchus Marsh Chicory Kiln.

After the kiln was heritage listed in 2016, the Bacchus Marsh Lions spearheaded a project to restore it and conducted works including roof repairs, repairs to rainwater goods, doors and brickwork, as well as a condition assessment report.

The work was supported by a $33,000 state government grant, match funded by the property owner, and fundraising efforts by local community groups including the Bacchus Marsh Lions Club, Bendigo Bank and Bacchus Marsh Rotary Club.

The last step is restoring the Dr Morse’s Indian Roots Pills artwork, and Moorabool council has decided to see if it can assist.

At a meeting on April 3, council moved to conduct a report on heritage grants and alternative funding options that may be available to complete the renovation.

Councillor Rod Ward said the chicory kiln in Bacchus Marsh was built in 1885 and it is only the oldest remaining substantially intact, chicory kiln in Victoria.

“This is the only chicory kiln on the western side of Victoria…,” he said.

“The Rotary Club of Bacchus Marsh joined the Lions Club to restore the structural stability and have done so and it’s outstanding. Now there’s a desire to restore the artwork.”

Some councilors objected the motion on the grounds that the kiln is on private, not council-owned land.

Cr Ward said this notice of motion is “merely asking Moorabool Shire Council to explore all options to secure funding from state government to fund the possible restoration of these artworks, not to allocate resources.