Emu Bottom Homestead, Sunbury is one of the best-known early squatter homesteads in Victoria, and associated with George Evans who was amongst the first European party to arrive in 1836.
In 1982 subdivision of the original property carved out 250 hectares for housing leaving the homestead on the remaining 25 hectares, and at the time this was considered the bare minimum. Other early homesteads in metropolitan Melbourne have been whittled down to virtually nothing, including the 1849 Banyule homestead in Heidelberg.
In January 2013, Heritage Victoria refused to issue a permit for a 6 lot subdivision, and issued a part-permit instead deleting two lots of the 26 hectare green wedge property. This aligned the subdivision to that determined by VCAT in 2009 to only allow four blocks, one of which is the homestead remaining on about 23 hectares, and another the owners’ pre-existing residence. It deletes the proposed blocks around the entrance road. Heritage Victoria has therefore stepped back from its 2008 decision to allow six blocks. A covenant is also required which will ensure a schedule of conservation works is undertaken in a specified time.
Subsequently, in June 2013, the sub-division appeal to the Heritage Council was abandoned by the Heritage Council because the permit issued by Heritage Victoria contravened the Aboriginal Heritage Act.