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The fence at St Patrick’s Ballarat in 2017 (ABC News/Dominic Cansdale)

Ribbons tied to the fence at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Ballarat as a symbol of support for abuse victims will need to be removed so the Ballarat Diocese can conduct maintenance work on the cast-iron fence. 

In a statement, the diocese said it is planning “much-needed” maintenance work on the fence, which is “showing considerable deterioration and needs repainting”.

Following consultation with the cathedral parish council, Ballarat Bishop Paul Bird has asked that this maintenance work be done as soon as it can be arranged.

The diocese said in the statement that the fence has “high heritage value” and is significant for the parish community and the Ballarat community in general. 

“In 2015, during the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the LOUD Fence movement began the practice of tying ribbons to fences in Ballarat and beyond, as a sign of solidarity and support for those who suffered abuse,” the statement said.

“Bishop Bird has contacted members of the LOUD Fence movement to invite them to meet with him and representatives of the cathedral parish council to discuss the process for the removal of the ribbons from the cathedral fence so that the maintenance work can proceed and also to discuss various ways of supporting those who have suffered abuse. 

“The diocese looks to work together with others to promote a safe community for all.”


Maintenance Work on St Patrick’s Cathedral Fence (Ballarat Diocese)


St Patrick’s Cathedral Loud Fence ribbons to be removed for works (Ballarat Courier)