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National Trust responds to Melbourne Metro Project Early Works Plan and Precinct Development Plans

At the end of last the National Trust prepared a substantial submission to the Cross Yarra Partnership (CYP) in response to the Early Works Plan and Precinct Development Plans released as part of the Melbourne Metro Project. As part of our submission to CYP, we expressed our concerns regarding various issues, including the lack of Traditional Owner consultation; the extensive tree removal proposed; the urban design response of the new built form; the relocation of various pieces of public art; over-site development at the new stations; and impacts on Federation Square and the Campbell Arcade.

While we understand the strategic justification for the project, and acknowledge that heritage is but one factor that will constrain the design and construction, in our submission we emphasised the importance of cultural heritage across the footprint of the project, particularly in regard to community engagement and satisfaction with the project, placemaking within the urban design response, and in leaving an enduring legacy for the future of the City.  Continue Reading →

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Further demolition proposed at the Former Hoffman Brickworks site

The National Trust prepared a submission this month in response to a permit application that proposes the complete demolition of the former brick Pressing Shed and former Engine House, and the construction of a 24-level residential tower, within the heritage core of the Former Brickworks site. Our organisation has been actively involved in the preservation of this site for three decades, including classifying the place on our Heritage register at the State level in 1988. We note that a significant amount of heritage fabric has already been demolished, heavily altered and removed from the site since it was first added to our register in 1988. It is our understanding that the adaptive re-use of the former brick Pressing Shed and former Engine House was intended to offset the construction of new built form and significant heritage impacts resulting from earlier permits at the site. As such, we believe that it is unacceptable to even contemplate the complete demolition of these buildings. Continue Reading →

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Planning Panels Victoria releases Panel Report on Sunbury Rings Cultural Landscape

From August to October 2017, the National Trust attended a Planning Panel hearing to advocate for the protection of the Sunbury Rings Cultural Landscape, classified by the Trust in June 2015. The landscape, in the Jacksons Creek valley, includes a number of highly significant Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal heritage places, including rare Aboriginal earth rings, which form a cultural landscape that has significant historical, aesthetic, and scientific values. The classification was developed in consultation with the Traditional Owners, the Wurundjeri Tribe Land and Compensation Cultural Heritage Council, for whom this is a place of ongoing cultural and spiritual significance. Continue Reading →

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New public reserve planned at the Former Smiths Nursery

This week we made a submission to Heritage Victoria regarding a permit for a six lot subdivision and creation of a public reserve at the Former Smiths Nursery site at Riddells Creek, in the Macedon Ranges.

The Former Smiths Nursery site is on the Victorian Heritage Register as one of Victoria’s earliest plant nurseries which played a significant role in the trade of Australian native plants and trees both cultivated and existing, sourced from the slopes of Mt Macedon. The old nursery site and display garden are clearly evident at the site with a wide range of plantings arranged in rows. The site contains the potential for further archaeological investigation that may reveal information regarding operation of the nursery and mid-century nursery practice in Victoria. The site is located on the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri and contains Areas of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Sensitivity, particularly important given its proximity to the Riddells Creek.

Continue Reading →

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HAVE YOUR SAY: Melbourne Metro Tunnel Project

Draft Development Plans, Draft Early Works Plan and Heritage Permits for the Metro Tunnel Project are now available for public comment. Feedback will only be open until Friday 15 December, 2017, and can be submitted here. Further details and links below: Continue Reading →

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Footscray Oak highlights Need for Maribyrnong Tree Protection

The National Trust is supporting a group of Footscray residents fighting to save a historic oak tree on Hyde Street. With a large canopy extending over 5 property boundaries, the tree is estimated to be more than 100 years old, and provides amenity for residents and habitat for wildlife. However no permit is required for its removal, so residents were taken by surprise when the owner of the property engaged an arborist to remove it, to facilitate future development on the site. While at the time of writing works to remove the tree have ceased, approximately 50% of the canopy has been removed, leaving it in a perilous state.

In response, the National Trust is calling on the City of Maribyrnong to create a Significant Tree Register, and to initiate planning controls to protect trees on the Register. The Conversation recently reported that “Melbourne’s western suburbs have tree canopy coverage of only 5% to 10%, compared to between 10% and 30% in the rest of the city’s suburbs.” With current development pressures in Footscray and other areas in the municipality, including infrastructure projects such as the West Gate Tunnel, it is therefore crucial to protect existing trees.

The Footscray oak tree has now been nominated to the National Trust’s Register of Significant Trees, and will be considered by the Trust’s Expert Tree Committee in December, however inclusion on the Register would not provide legal protection for the tree.

You can show your support for trees in the City of Maribyrnong by signing this petition.

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HV North elevation (August 2016)

Minister for Planning overrules recommendation to add APM Boiler House to Register

News that the Minister for Planning has overruled recommendations by Heritage Victoria and the Heritage Council of Victoria to add the 1954 APM Boiler House in Alphington to the Victorian Heritage Register has reignited community debate about the importance of our industrial and post-war heritage places. Following a nomination to the Register in 2016 (which was supported by the National Trust) the landmark Boiler House was assessed by Heritage Victoria as having technical and scientific significance to the state of Victoria as one of the earliest examples of glazed curtain walling, a recommendation upheld by the Heritage Council of Victoria. For the first time however, the Minister used his powers to overturn the recommendation, effectively paving the way for the building’s demolition, regardless of its significance. The National Trust has written to the Minister for Planning expressing disappointment in this decision.   Continue Reading →

Source - Victorian Heritage Rregister Database ca. 1930s

AGL Renews Sponsorship for Skipping Girl

In October, we announced the renewal of AGL’s sponsorship of the Skipping Girl sign, which will provide for the ongoing maintenance and repair of “Little Audrey”. The Skipping Girl sign, a 1970 version of the 1936 original, is of social and historical importance to the state of Victoria The Skipping Girl sign was classified by the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) in 2001, and added to the Victorian Heritage Register in 2006. Continue Reading →

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High-Rise Apartment Tower proposed within World Heritage Environs Area

We have prepared a Statement of Grounds for an upcoming VCAT hearing to determine whether an 8-10 storey apartment tower should be constructed atop a pair of significant nineteenth-century terrace houses in Fitzroy, known as ‘Salisbury Place’. The terraces border the UNESCO World Heritage site Royal Exhibition Building & Carlton Gardens on the Nicholson Street site, and are included within the World Heritage Environs Area buffer zone (WHEA). The purpose of the buffer zone is to protect significant views and vistas towards and from the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens; to maintain and conserve the significant historic character of the area; and to ensure new development in the area has regard to the prominence and visibility of the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens. While the original permit application was refused by Yarra Council, prompting the VCAT appeal, revised plans have now been submitted to the Tribunal which will be the subject of a four day hearing beginning on 23 October.  Continue Reading →

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Greater Shepparton Heritage Open Day

Greater Shepparton City Council, in association with the Greater Shepparton Heritage Advisory Committee, have recently announced a ‘Greater Shepparton Heritage Open Day’, to be held on Saturday 28 October 2017 between 10am and 4pm. The day aims to increase awareness of Greater Shepparton’s diverse and unique range of heritage places, and encourage pride in and understanding of this heritage. Over 40 places of heritage and historical significance within the municipality will be free to visit during the day, with some never having been open to the public before, and many rarely on view. Other familiar places will come alive as you visit and hear their stories. Continue Reading →