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1. 310 St Kilda Road

State Government agrees to purchase Former Repatriation Clinic to house the Australian National Veterans Arts Museum

After a four year battle, the Australian National Veterans Arts Museum (ANVAM) have successfully lobbied the State Government to purchase the former Repatriation Commission Outpatient Clinic (310 St Kilda Road) from the Federal Government for use as a veterans art museum and centre dedicated to improving veteran health and wellbeing through art therapy. Continue Reading →

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The Heritage Council grants Interim Protection Order for the Morwell Power Station & Briquette Factory

Following intense community pressure to assess the historical value of the Morwell Power Station and Briquette Factory (operational 1956-2014), the Heritage Council of Victoria have granted an interim protection order, halting any demolition works while Heritage Victoria conduct an assessment of the sites cultural heritage significance to the State of Victoria. Continue Reading →

Harry Seidler's plan and sketches of Shell House, image courtesy of Harry Seidler & Associates

Harry Seidler’s ‘Shell House’ considered for inclusion in the Victorian Heritage Register

The National Trust has appeared at a Heritage Council Registration Hearing supporting the inclusion of ‘Shell House’, located at 1 Spring Street Melbourne, to the Victorian Heritage Register. While the owners of the property agree that the place should be added to the Register, they dispute the proposed permit policy and exemptions, and have specifically argued that the majority of the interior should be permit exempt.

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Heritage Victoria grants permit for Richmond Maltings redevelopment

In a landmark decision for Melbourne’s heritage, Heritage Victoria has issued a permit to Caydon Property Group for the redevelopment of the Richmond Maltings Complex, which includes the iconic Nylex sign and concrete silos. Overall, the National Trust supports Heritage Victoria’s assessment that the revised plans represent a major departure from the original scheme proposed by Caydon back in 2015 Continue Reading →

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Barwon Water Ovoid Sewer Aqueduct Park Proposal

Last week the National Trust made a submission to Barwon Water regarding a proposal to establish a 66-hectare park around the heritage-listed Barwon River Ovoid Sewer Aqueduct in Breakwater. The Geelong & Region Branch of the National Trust has been instrumental in advocating for the protection and conservation of the Aqueduct for 20 years, working to see local community action on this issue. Recently the Branch had success bring together many local heritage and environmental groups, including the Victoria Chair of Engineers Australia, and key Barwon Water staff to discuss solutions to the conservation of spans which are proposed for removal.

Barwon Water’s initial proposal for the Ovoid Sewer Aqueduct forms part of community and stakeholder consultation (late-Jan to February 2017), leading up to an application to Heritage Victoria for a heritage permit to undertake works to the Aqueduct itself. The proposal aims to conserve and promote the historically significant Aqueduct structure (while improving public safety); restore public access along the Barwon River and northern bank; provide for a range of low-impact recreational activities; and staged-development of visitor facilities and protection of the biodiversity, cultural heritage and floodplain values of the park. Overall, while the National Trust supports the increase in public access to the Aqueduct Park via the use of walking trails and lookout points which would facilitate greater visitor engagement with the natural and cultural values of the Aqueduct Park, we do have some specific concerns relating to additional strategies and consultation, and proposed demolition.

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1. Red Cross Rest House, Caulfield Military Hospital

Former Red Cross Rest Home in Caulfield added to Victorian Heritage Register after 2-year campaign

Back in 2015, the National Trust became aware of a permit application that proposed the complete demolition of a former Red Cross Rest Home in the grounds of the Former Caulfield Repatriation Hospital (260-294 Kooyong Road, Caufield). Constructed in 1916, the Rest Home was purpose built to house injured soldiers returned from war, representing a unique and tangible reminder of Victoria’s World War I history and heritage. Based on an assessment of the site’s cultural heritage significance, the National Trust lodged a formal objection to this permit application. To read our object in full, click here, and to read more about the history of the site, click here.

After it was nominated to the Victorian Heritage Register by the Glen Eira Historical Society, the National Trust was disappointed to learn that the lessee of the site, HammondCare, had lodged an appeal against the inclusion of the Red Cross Rest Home on the State Register, arguing that statutory listing would place constraints upon the future development of the buildings services and facilities. Following the appeal, a hearing was held in late-2016 by the Heritage Council to consider submissions from HammondCare, the National Trust, Glen Eira Historical Society and others, and late last week we were informed that the Heritage Council has upheld the decision to include it on the register as a place of significance to the state of Victoria.

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Chalet maintenance program well underway as a new ‘Vision’ for Mt Buffalo is revealed

To read our blog from November 2016 on the ‘story so far’, and for further background to the items discussed below, please click here.

As outlined in detail on our blog here and here, the National Trust has serious concerns for the future preservation of the Mt Buffalo Chalet if a sustainable future use is not identified and implemented as a matter of urgency. Since closing its doors in 2007, the Chalet has sat empty and neglected, very much at the mercy of the harsh alpine climate. A site visit back in August 2016 revealed that while the building was under constant supervision by Parks Victoria, the harsh climate had started to cause serious structural issues for the building, with the front ‘postcard’ section of the building in the best condition, while the rear wings continued to languish.

Over the weekend, the Advocacy team traveled to the North-East to view the recent $2.8m maintenance and restoration program currently underway at the Chalet under the supervision of Parks Victoria, and to attend the community launch of the Mount Buffalo Destination Advisory Group’s ‘Vision for Mount Buffalo’, a 12 month community-led project developed as a ‘gift’ to the state government. While there is still a long journey ahead before the Chalet is finally able to open its doors to visitors, we are hopeful that the ‘Vision’ will offer some new strategies to tackle this complex issue following years of neglect, as well as keeping it firmly on the Government’s agenda. Continue Reading →

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Point Nepean National Park Draft Master Plan

Parks Victoria is currently undertaking a review of the Point Nepean National Park Master Plan ‘to reflect government policy and community views.’ As taken from the Parks Victoria website:

‘The renewal seeks to validate the information and strategic intent of the draft master plan released in 2010 and build on knowledge gathered during engagement in 2010-2016.’

After reviewing the extensive report, the National Trust is generally supportive of the Master Plan, which includes discussion of site context, themes, vision, interpretation strategies, activation strategies for the Quarantine Station and an implementation strategy. The adaptive re-use of the Quarantine Station in particular is essential for ensuring the protection and conservation of Point Nepean’s natural and cultural values for the enjoyment of future generations. Continue Reading →

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Ballarat Station Precinct Redevelopment

In July 2015, the Victorian Government pledged up to $25 million towards the delivery of the Ballarat Station Precinct Redevelopment Project, in partnership with the private sector. As a landmark site included on the Victorian Heritage Register, and as a community asset which is to be privatised in part, it is reasonable for the community to expect the highest quality outcome from the redevelopment process, and one which will protect and enhance our shared heritage. Having reviewed the Concept Plans however, the National Trust have significant concerns about the proposed development, including the quality of built form and urban design, and the adapative re-use of the Goods Shed. Continue Reading →

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New plans for Pentridge Prison to be considered by Heritage Victoria

Following the recent news that Heritage Victoria has granted a permit for a controversial 16-storey tower at the former Pentridge Prison, the National Trust Advocacy Team this week responded to two major applications for new developments at B Division and A Division.

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