2020 Advocacy Statements
RHSV Heritage Committee joined the campaign to protect Federation Square.
8 Aug 2018 RHSV statement on Heritage Protection for Federation Square
15 Dec 2018 RHSV submission to the Heritage Council about Federation Square
12 Feb 2019 RHSV submission to Heritage Victoria regarding Federation Square and the Apple Flagship Store
5 April 2019 Federation Square saved
HISTORIC SHOPPING STRIPS
Ian Wight and Judy Smart attended Yarra Council’s meeting Tuesday 25 February, where Amendment C231—Queens Parade was considered. The final form of the amendment considerably reduced the maximum height of developments behind Queens Parade shop fronts and increased the minimum setback. A significant victory.
We have been less successful with other shopping strips. On 5 August, Ian Wight represented the RHSV at the Planning Panel considering the proposed amendment for the future development of Swan Street, Richmond. As with Queens Parade, North Fitzroy, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) was pressing for development rules that would leave only the façades of heritage buildings and a few metres of original fabric.
Ian gave a masterly analysis and the panel members asked a number of pertinent questions, which gave us hope that some of the more egregious aspects of the proposed amendment would be revised but sadly this was not the case. However, the panel report handed down in October agreed with the Council that the general recommended upper level setback be increased from 5 to 6 metres and we like to think that our submissions assisted in this decision. Nevertheless this was a disappointing outcome that is unlikely to prevent façadism.
29 May 2019 Submission to Heritage Council of Victoria regarding planned amendments to the City of Yarra to design and development overlays covering historic strip of shopping centre
4 Dec 2018. RHSV logged objections to planning amendments which threaten the heritage fabric of North Fitzroy Queens Parade shopping strip
4 Dec 2020. RHSV logged a submission to the Yarra Planning Amendment C269 rewrite of local policies
MISSION TO SEAFARERS MARITIME CENTRE
On 18 August 2020, the Future Melbourne Committee of the City of Melbourne heard and accepted a proposal from Cr Jackie Watts to undertake a feasibility study for a Maritime Centre to be installed in the Mission to Seafarers building. While members of the Heritage Committee have some reservations about the proposal, we believe it has great potential merit if over-commercialisation can be avoided. We made a strongly supportive submission. The proposal would ensure that this splendid building is safeguarded, and that alone is reason to pursue this path.
DEVELOPMENT OVERLOOKING PRINCES PARK PREVENTED
Elisabeth Jackson, RHSV vice president and Heritage Committee member, has been involved in opposing a development site on the corner of Sydney Road and Park Street, Brunswick. Elisabeth reported, ‘Heritage concerns were only one aspect of the objections to this proposal which involved a huge tower overshadowing Princes Park and building on a very contaminated site. The main heritage concern related to the proposed removal of a 1920s electrical substation. This had been built and operated by the former Brunswick Electricity Supply—an organisation of great significance to Brunswick. Moreland Council has been excellent on this issue—rejecting both the original plans and a revised set’. The developer took the council to VCAT, which confirmed the council’s position. We thus obtained a favourable outcome.
When the statue of slave trader Edward Colston was thrown into the River Avon on 7 June 2020, the RHSV realised that we would need to consider our position on iconoclastic activity, especially since some of Victoria’s controversial statues are on the Heritage Register. Even more concerning, the RHSV, and especially its predecessor the HSV, not only supported the preservation of monuments but led the way in erecting many of them, such as those commemorating explorers whose relations with Indigenous landowners were often destructive.
In formulating a response, the Heritage Committee consulted with RHSV president and historian of Aboriginal Victoria, Richard Broome, and with heritage experts Stuart Macintyre and Graeme Davison. The resulting statement was posted on our website and on Facebook and sent out to members. We believe that it was generally well received, though some half a dozen members opposed the removal of any statues.
JUUKAN GORGE, WA
22 July 2020
RHSV’s Submission to the Inquiry into the destruction of 46,000 year old caves at the Juukan Gorge in the Pilbara region of Western Australia
Click above to read our submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into the destruction of the 46,000-year-old caves at the Juukan Gorge. We argue that it demonstrates profound failings in the legislation to protect Australia’s heritage, not only in WA, but also in the Commonwealth, which was missing in action.
Commonwealth Environment Minister Sussan Ley justified doing nothing on the grounds that there was no application for protection, but it emerges today that when the traditional owners of the Shenhua Watermark site on the Liverpool Plains did apply for protections, the Minister refused to grant protection, allowing an open-cut coalmine to proceed. This highlights the need for ‘an independent compliance and enforcement regulator’, as called for by the Review into the EBPC Act.
The Independent Review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 Interim Report was published on 20 July 2020. Chair, Professor Graham Samuel, called for submissions in response, to be considered for the final report. On 16 August, the Heritage Committee made a submission to the review. Meanwhile, the government seized on the Interim Report to propose a new Act before publication of the final report! In doing so, the responsible minister rejected all of the controls and safeguards proposed by Professor Samuel in the Interim Report, apparently hoping to legislate uncontrolled devolution before the final report.
On 28 August we wrote to three cross-benchers: Senators Griff, Lambie and Patrick. Faced with their opposition, the government decided not to proceed with its legislation at that time.
The final report was given to the government in October 2020 and released to the public on 28 January 2021. The minister promptly rejected it in favour of the government’s proposals to gut the 1999 EPBC Act (itself a weakened version of the earlier conservation and heritage Acts).
HOFFMAN’S BRICKWORKS, BRUNSWICK
Nearly two decades ago, a developer was granted permission to demolish portions of this historic brickworks for apartments in exchange for preserving the most historic parts and making a museum, to which the local council granted $200,000. But owing to the developer’s inaction, the museum did not eventuate, squatters broke in and set fires, and the roof collapsed.
The owners put in a demolition application to Heritage Victoria, which Moreland Council opposed strongly. On 5 November 2020, the RHSV Heritage Committee lodged a submission opposing the developer’s plan to demolish the heritage buildings and replace them with a replica.
OLDERFLEET BUILDING, 471-77 COLLINS STREET, MELBOURNE (VHR H0037)
On 8 September 2020, the RHSV Heritage Committee lodged with Heritage Victoria, a submission prepared by the Heritage Committee’s deputy chair Ian Wight supporting Heritage Victoria’s refusal of a proposal to obscure the highly significant cast-iron gates with glass doors. On 9 November, Heritage Victoria granted a permit for a revised proposal, but with stringent conditions that go some way toward meeting our concerns.
2019 Advocacy Statements
HERITAGE COUNCIL REVIEW OF LOCAL HERITAGE PROTECTION
The Heritage Council of Victoria asked us to inform them on the needs and views of our member societies with regard to the adequacy of heritage, and especially local heritage, protections. This is a major issue linked to the conflict between DDOs and heritage overlays, so we devoted significant resources to undertaking a major survey of our 340 member societies. We obtained responses from 113 societies, and several more responded too late to be included in the report.
Our final report formed the basis of the Heritage Council’s report to the minister (see https://heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/research-projects/the-state-of-heritage-review-local-heritage/). It called for the state to take greater responsibility for local heritage.
16 Sep 2019 RHSV wrote a statement protesting the loss of trees on the Midlands Highway
2018 Advocacy Statements
19 Jun 2018 RHSV submission to Heritage Victoria on Porter Prefabricated Iron Store, Fitzroy North
21 Aug 2018 RHSV statement on grounds 340-342 High Street, Northcote/VCAT Ref P1435/2018
21 Aug 2018 RHSV supports Melbourne Planning Scheme Amendments C327 and C328 Hoddle Grid Review
23 Oct 2018 RHSV supports three virtual planning scheme amendments
2017 Advocacy Statements
23 Oct 2017 RHSV submission to Heritage Victoria: Queen Victoria Market Development
15 Sep 2017 RHSV submission on Sarah Sands Hotel, 29 Sydney Road, Brunswick
10 Aug 2017 RHSV submission on Robur Tea House, 28 Clarendon Street, Southbank
8 Feb 2017 RHSV submission Point Nepean National Park Draft Master Plan
31 Jan 2017 RHSV response to proposed demolition of Great Western Hotel, King Street.
31 Jan 2017 System Garden at the University of Melbourne
2016 Advocacy Statements
Nov 2016 RHSV response to revision of the Heritage Act 1995
28 Oct 2016 RHSV statement on the demolition of the Corkman Hotel (Former Carlton Inn)
5 Dec 2018 Corkman Hotel developers/demolishers get their way
2 June 2019 Ian Wright’s letter to the Editor, The Age, explains the real problem with the Corkman cowboys
2015 Advocacy Statements
Oct 2015 RHSV submission in response to the VEAC draft proposal paper
25 Aug 2015 RHSV submission on the review of the Heritage Act 1995
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