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HAVE YOU 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.

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 →

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Burnham Beeches development history

The recent history of Burnham Beeches has seen up to eight different owners and operators, each proposing development plans with varying degrees of changes and interventions to the 22.5 hectare property and its significant Art Deco residence, known as the Norris Building. None of these development plans have been seen through to fruition, with the exception of the Forest and Garden Wing extension made to the Norris building in the early 1980s, an extension in the Art Deco style undertaken prior to the current heritage planning controls on the site. The lack of significant conservation works to the Norris Building and activation of the site more broadly has seen the property largely unoccupied for the last 25 years. The National Trust along with our Dandenong Ranges Branch have been involved in the planning processes of numerous applications over the last 15 years. Throughout these applications we have strongly supported the ongoing adaptive re-use and activation of the site necessary to protect this place for future generations. Given that the latest plans for the site by the current owners are about to be considered by the Yarra Ranges Shire Council, we thought it was worth taking a close look at our archival files on the property, and considering this permit in the context of the site’s development history.

Continue Reading →

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City of Melbourne gives green light to Southbank and Fishermans Bend heritage amendment

On Tuesday 19 September, the City of Melbourne was given the green light to progress the much awaited Southbank and Fishermans Bend Heritage Review to the next stage. The study was considered at Council’s Future Melbourne Committee, with Team Doyle – Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, Deputy Lord Mayor Arron Wood, Cr Susan Riley, Cr Nicholas Reece, and Cr Tessa Sullivan – each declaring an indirect conflict of interest relating to campaign donations. Due to these declarations, a quorum was lost, and the resolutions were determined under delegation.  Continue Reading →

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UPDATE: West Gate Tunnel Project

13th September 2017

Yesterday the National Trust made a submission at the independent Inquiry and Advisory Committee (IAC) hearing, which is considering the Environmental Effects Statement (EES), and public submissions, in relation to the proposed West Gate Tunnel Project. As documented on our blog here, our original submission to the EES raised concerns regarding the impact to natural heritage due to widespread losses of healthy mature trees, long term impacts on native vegetation, particularly within the waterways and environs of Moonee Ponds Creek and Stony Creek, and the visual impact on various heritage places throughout the project. Our submission to the public hearing yesterday highlighted further serious concerns, including the extent of engagement with Traditional Owner Groups, the substantial green infrastructure that is proposed to be removed across the entire footprint of the project, and the proposed twin elevated road structures above Footscray Road.

To read our submission in full, click here.  Continue Reading →

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UPDATED: Advocacy Position Statement regarding City of Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Market Renewal Plans

12 September 2017

The National Trust of Australia (Victoria) today issued a detailed Position Statement on the Queen Victoria Market Renewal Project. This Statement has been endorsed by the Trust’s Board. CEO Simon Ambrose stated that the NTAV continues to engage constructively with the QVM Renewal process and welcomes the opportunity which the project provides for the refurbishment of a heritage site which is of National importance. While acknowledging this positive aspect of the project, the Trust continues to have concerns about aspects of the redevelopment, and envisages continuing detailed discussion with the City of Melbourne and QVM Renewal Team, as well as the provision of detailed feedback on future permit applications. Issues that the Trust believes still need to be resolved include (but are not limited to): Continue Reading →