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Maribyrnong City Council commit to Significant Tree Register

In late March the City Development Special Committee of the Maribrynong City Council considered an agenda item regarding the implementation of a Significant Tree Register for the municipality. We commend the council for undertaking steps toward this important work, which directly responds to community concerns regarding significant trees, following the loss of a large old oak tree in Footscray in December 2017.

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Wagon shop, Newport workshops, about 1915, SLV

National Trust Objects to Newport Railway Workshops Demolition

The National Trust has objected to a recent Permit Application by VicTrack for part demolition, conservation, and security related works at the West Block Southern Extension at Newport Railway Workshops, one of the state’s most significant industrial sites. While the justification for the works put forward in the application is “the practicality of securing the site and rendering it safe and manageable following the 2015 fire damage”, it is unclear what VicTrack’s broader plans are for the site, and there is no overall masterplan to guide the works. Click here to read the full submission. Continue Reading →

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Historic Epsom Primary School building demolition

We were greatly saddened yesterday to hear of the demolition of a historical Epsom Primary School building. The reasoning behind the buildings demolition has been documented by the Bendigo Advertiser, accessible here.  Continue Reading →

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National Trust Response to Refusal of Queen Victoria Market Heritage Application

On 28 March, Heritage Victoria formally issued a refusal of a permit application by the City of Melbourne for works including the dismantling, restoration and reconstruction of the western sheds A-D and the construction of a 3-level basement.

In response to the Permit Refusal, National Trust CEO Simon Ambrose has issued the following statement:

The National Trust demands immediate consultation between Heritage Victoria and the City of Melbourne to resolve this current planning issue. The Queen Victoria Market is of immense heritage value to the state, and its traders are central to this.

We are all aligned in the core objective to protect the heritage of the Queen Victoria Market, and ensure that it thrives into the future. Now is the time to ensure we do this properly.

Increasing uncertainty for traders about the Market renewal threatens the cultural fabric of the market. Rather than risking a lengthy appeal, we implore the City of Melbourne and Queen Victoria Market management to work with Heritage Victoria, traders, the community, and the National Trust, to reach an equitable outcome which respects the heritage of the market, and provides for much-needed maintenance and conservation works.

Media enquiries: email or phone 03 9656 9861

national eucalypt day

Happy National Eucalypt Day!

To celebrate National Eucalypt Day we have dived into our archives to find some interesting stories and rare species of Eucalyptus on our Significant Tree Register. There are many more to be found through our Register at www.trusttrees.org.au.

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Corymbia maculata (Spotted Gum), Wail Nursery Arboretum (west of township) Wail, Horsham

On the register for is curious growth form and abnormal outgrowths, this is a very unusual example of this species displaying a pronounced weeping habit. The heavy weeping foliage often shears off the branches, many of which are 15cm to 20cm in diameter. The tree was planted in 1913 as part of a species trial at the Nursery. A smaller example, also displaying weeping form, occurs nearby. The nearby Wail Nursery is the Wimmera and Mallee’s premier location for local native plant species, recently re-opened for retail sales in 2017 as a partnership between the Barengi Gadjin Land Council and Narri Seed.

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Response to Macedon Ranges Localised Planning Statement

We recently made a submission regarding the Macedon Ranges Localised Planning Statement. Localised Planning Statements (LPS) are State Government policies for protecting and enhancing values of state distinctive areas, addressing how these regions should respond to demands for growth and change. LPS are already in place for the Bellarine Peninsula and the Mornington Peninsula, with work underway to complete Macedon Ranges, Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges. LPS should provide a clear policy framework to guide planning decisions including implementation measures for statutory protection of significant landscapes, heritage places and Aboriginal cultural heritage. Our submission follows a number of submissions made by the National Trust regarding state policies for the Macedon Ranges over the last few years.

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National Trust Statement Regarding Federation Square

In response to the government’s plans to demolish the Yarra Building at Federation Square for the development of a flagship retail store, the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) has issued the following statement:

The National Trust considers that Federation Square is a place of architectural, aesthetic, historic, and social significance to the state of Victoria.

The National Trust believes that a masterplan subject to a process of public consultation should be prepared as a matter of urgency to guide any future development at Federation Square, including any proposed replacement of the Yarra Building, landscape design, and any station entrance associated with the construction of Town Hall Station as part of the Melbourne Metro Tunnel project.

The National Trust opposes any redevelopment at Federation Square which is undertaken without transparency and a genuine process of public consultation. We are concerned that the proposed development of a flagship retail store at Federation Square is inconsistent with the objectives outlined in the Civic and Cultural Charter for Federation Square, and inconsistent with the site’s high degree of social and cultural significance which has evolved and strengthened since Federation Square was conceived and constructed.

Quotes attributable to Simon Ambrose, Chief Executive Officer, National Trust of Australia (Victoria).

Media Contact: Felicity Watson, Advocacy Manager

Image by Lisa Gervasoni

Smart Planning?

On 16 October, the State Government released the Reforming the Victoria Planning Provisions discussion paper for consultation as part of the Smart Planning project initiated by the current government. In December, we made a submission to the State Government in response to the proposed reforms. While broadly supportive of the stated intentions, we raised strong concerns regarding the proposals outlined in the Discussion Paper, and in particular criticised the the lack of detail regarding proposed reforms to the Victorian Planning Provisions, and the lack of broad public consultation. Continue Reading →

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Aerial photographs of the Shrine of Remembrance, Melb, Robert James Moss, 1980, SLV_cropped

Domain Parkland & Memorial Precinct added to the National Heritage List

One of Australia’s most intact government domains and environs, including landmarks such as Government House, the Domain Parklands, the Shrine of Remembrance and National Trust property La Trobe’s Cottage, as well as some of Melbourne’s best known vistas, has been permanently added to the National Heritage List. The area, to be known as Melbourne’s Domain Parkland and Memorial Precinct – encompassing 109 hectares south of the CBD between St Kilda Road and the Yarra River – secured emergency heritage protection in February 2017 in the face of development pressures from Melbourne’s Metro Rail Project. Continue Reading →

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

At the end of last year 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 →