Completed Advocacy Projects

heritage matters

We lead advocacy campaigns, cooperate with like-minded organisations and we respond to heritage issues raised by affiliated historical societies.

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The following advocacy projects are regarding Heritage issues within the state of Victoria for which the RHSV provided a voice from 2020- 2023.

Click here to read about Current Advocacy Projects 

Richmond’s Jack Dyer Stand Lost

June 2023

The battle to save Richmond’s historic Jack Dyer Stand at the Punt Road Oval has been lost. The City of Melbourne approved a controversial plan to knock down the stand as part of a redevelopment of the oval despite many heritage groups fighting to save the stand.

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Historic Ringwood Shop Saved

June 2023

In 2020 and 2021, the Ringwood & District Historical Society (RDHS) led a successful campaign to save from demolition a local landmark, the 1914 Blood Brothers Store. However it now appears that the success was only partial.

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Image credit: Jeff Atkinson

Preservation Win for Historic Railway Shed

January 2023

The Number 2 Goods Shed in Docklands, near Southern Cross Station is one of the most significant buildings in Victoria’s rail and industrial history. Built in 1889, it is the largest and most architecturally elaborate nineteenth century railway goods building in Victoria. Despite its listing on the Victorian Heritage Register, in the early 2000s it was cut in half when Collins Street was extended into Docklands, and the two halves redeveloped as office spaces. In 2022 a developer applied to Heritage Victoria for a permit to demolish more of the shed in order to build two substantial office towers where the sheds are cut by the Collins Street extension. Fortunately the application was refused.

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Historic John Curtin Hotel Saved

January 2023

The combination of community concern, opposition from heritage organisations, concerted trade union action, and now a 10 year contract with the management of the John Curtin Hotel has saved the historic pub from the threat of redevelopment. The contract, announced in November, means that the Curtin will continue as a pub and long-standing music venue.

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Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Added Protection for Heritage Buildings in the CBD ( C387)

September 2022

On 9 September 2022, the Minister for Planning approved a Planning Amendment that extends heritage protection to 121 individual buildings and five precincts in Melbourne’s central business district. These include not only buildings from the Victorian and Edwardian era (that is, pre-1914) but also Art Deco buildings from the 1930s, and Modernist buildings from the post-war period (1945 to 1975). This is a major win, and while it does not offer absolute protection, it means that these historic buildings will have a better chance of preservation.

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Interim Protection Order for Victory House

September 2022

The RHSV joined the fight to prevent demolition of Victory House, Geelong Road, Canadian. This 1906 cottage was built by James Wong Chung, who named it after the winner of the 1902 Melbourne Cup, ’The Victory’. His family lived there until 2008 and during this time it had a central role for Ballarat’s Chinese Community. It is therefore an extremely important part of Ballarat’s heritage.

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Great Western Hotel: Another (Real) Pub Bites the Dust

July 2022 

With planning approval having been granted on 27 May this year, the threat of demolition that has been hanging over the Great Western Hotel in King Street since 2017 is now a reality.

The Great Western opened in 1864 as the Star of the West and operated as a hotel continuously until it closed in March 2017. Granting approval for the planned redevelopment of the site condemns the Great Western to joining the long list of historic pubs, including the Stork and the Corkman Hotels, lost to Melbourne.

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Image credit: State Library of Victoria 

Protection for Industrial Heritage in Fishermans Bend

May 2022

RHSV is concerned that the historical significance of an important industrial heritage site in Fishermans Bend could be lost when a planned new development by the University of Melbourne goes ahead. The former General Motors Holden complex was where Australia’s own car, the Holden, was designed and produced. This is an iconic site whose historical significance is evidenced by the fact that it was recommended for listing on the Victorian Heritage Register. In 2018 the site was purchased by the University of Melbourne that plans to develop it as a new engineering and architecture campus – a development that will involve towers 140 meters high in an area with an 80 meters recommended height limit. In August 2021 the Victorian Minister for Planning determined that a few significant buildings on the site would be protected by being listed on the Victorian Heritage Register, while the rest will be demolished and replaced by the University’s new modern high-rise campus complex.

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Demolition of Historic Brickworks Buildings

March 2022 

The RHSV has objected to the demolition of two heritage industrial buildings on the former Hoffman’s Brickworks site in Brunswick. Despite agreements to conserve these buildings, the developer allowed them to decay so that it could be argued that they should be demolished. When the company first began developing the site in the 1990s, it received a heritage permit that stipulated it must carry out conservation work before the rest of the site was developed. Instead the developer, Sungrove Corporation, has largely ignored these requirements and allowed heritage buildings to decay while they developed apartment blocks and townhouses on the rest of the site. This has allowed them to successfully argue that the two remaining heritage buildings on the site should be demolished, leaving it free to build a multi-storey residential and commercial building on the footprint of the demolished buildings.

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Image credit: Property Value


Historic Industrial Complex in Richmond

February 2022           

The RHSV is concerned that an historic industrial area in Richmond associated with Australia’s history as a major wool producer is threatened with more intense development that could undermine its heritage value. The area between Tanner Street and the Richmond railway station contains an extraordinary collection of multi-storied former textile mills, built in the early twentieth century, that have a significant history linked to Australia’s wool industry. Most have been converted into apartments or offices. Proposed amendments to the City of Yarra’s planning regulations would mean that the area would be subjected to further intensive development that would put its heritage values at risk. However this proposed extension is now being reconsidered.

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Threats to World Heritage Area: Aitkenhead Building 

November 2021

St Vincent’s Hospital has been granted permission to construct a new building adjacent to the Carlton Gardens and the historically important Royal Exhibition Building, which would negatively impact on that historically important site and the surrounding area of South Fitzroy. The eleven-storey 1950s-era Aikenhead Building on the corner of Victoria Parade and Nicholson Street will be demolished, and the historic Brenan Hall next to it partly demolished. These will be replaced by a larger building, 15 metres taller than the Aikenhead Building and faced with reflective glass. Because of its increased height, bulk and reflective appearance this will have a seriously negative impact on the World Heritage Site and its surrounding area, as well as on the adjacent South Fitzroy Heritage Precinct.

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Former Sunshine Technical School Buildings

February 2020

A recent significant win for heritage protection has meant that several stylish ‘streamline moderne’ buildings constructed in the early 1940s will be preserved. These were constructed at the Sunshine Technical School in Melbourne’s western suburbs. The school was closed some years ago. In August 2021 a notice appeared on the site announcing that the Department of Education was calling for tenders for the demolition of the buildings. The Department is exempt from planning and heritage laws but is expected to consult with the community. When made aware of this, the local historical society, the Brimbank City Council and the RHSV sprang into action opposing the demolition. In the face of this public response the Department of Education has said that it is now not planning to demolish the buildings.

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