Current Advocacy Projects

supporting heritage matters

We cooperate with cognate organisations in response to heritage issues raised by affiliated historical societies.

Learn More


The following advocacy projects are regarding Heritage issues within the state of Victoria for which the RHSV is providing a voice. These notices may include support, objections, recommendations and general notices on heritage matters. The current advocacy list displays such statements and notices.

When an advocacy project closes or a statement is superseded it may be removed from this page. Once removed from this list, the advocacy projects are archived and may be viewed on the ‘Archived Advocacy Projects’ page.

Historic Ringwood Shop Saved 

In 2020 the Ringwood and District Historical Society (RDHS) alerted the RHSV to the proposed demolition by Maroondah City Council of a local landmark, the 1914 Blood Brothers Store, in order to build a multi-storey carpark. This building is the last remaining pre-First World War shop in Ringwood’s commercial hub and has close connection to two pioneer families. It has a highly unusual feature: a façade of rare majolica tiles with the shop name incorporated into the tiles. The building is covered by a Heritage Overlay ‘as a rare and relatively intact rural Edwardian corner shop’. Throughout 2020 and 2021 the RDHS fought to prevent the demolition of this local landmark, and the RHSV wrote several letters to the Maroondah City Council in support of their efforts.

Their efforts were rewarded in May 2022 when the Council’s Director of Strategy and Community announced that the store will not be demolished. The statement gave no further details about the future of the building or its relationship to the proposed multi-storey carpark, except to say that there are two planning options being prepared. The RDHS is concerned that the store be protected from building works and dealt with in respectful and tasteful manner. It has requesting further details and will be urging that an appropriate Heritage Impact Statement be produced. At this stage, the outcome has been encouraging, but there is still considerable work to be done. Nevertheless the saving of the Blood Brothers Store is a significant win for heritage in Ringwood and for the current and future generations of the area.



For an overview of the structural issues in the planning system, and recommendations please read this opinion piece by Chair of the RHSV Heritage Committee, Professor Charles Sowerwine.

Tuesday 3 May, 2022            Submission to the Future Melbourne Committee, Punt Road Oval, Yarra Park, Punt Road, East Melbourne

The Jack Dyer Stand is under threat and, quite simply, the City of Melbourne cannot afford the loss of this remarkable part of its heritage.

The Jack Dyer Stand is the longest and most evocative surviving symbol of the Richmond Football Club’s long association with the Punt Road Oval and its spiritual home. The Richmond community generally has had a strong attachment to the place for over a century, anchored in deep working-class community identity and loyalty through much of the 20th century. It still has powerful symbolic meaning to many Richmond residents and club followers. This is particularly evident in the association of the stand and its longevity with the name of Jack Dyer who played for Richmond from 1931 to 1949, much of that time as captain and coach, and has hero status at the club and throughout the Victorian football community.

To read the RHSV’s full submission click here.

Thursday, 24 March 2022            Statement on the John Curtin Hotel

The Royal Historical Society of Victoria strongly supports the nomination of the John Curtin Hotel to the Victorian Heritage Register. Indeed, the RHSV has been providing historical information to assist the Trust and Trades Hall with the nomination. On the basis of its historical associations alone, the hotel is clearly of state significance. We note, however, that it is also of some architectural significance. Built in 1915, it was designed in the arts and crafts style by Peck and Kemter, a distinguished firm of architects involved with many iconic Melbourne buildings.

It is also distinctive in Victoria’s social history. Our colleague Dr Chris McConville points out that it was one of the last pubs built or rebuilt before the introduction of six o’clock closing in 1916 meant that drinkers had a short time after work to drink enough to keep them happy through the evening. To cater for this demand, the best arrangement was a big, open ’swill’ . The John Curtin is one of the last examples of earlier arrangements of bars, when getting drunk was a more leisurely affair.

To read full statement click here.

Jan 31 2022: Submission to the Parliament of Victoria, Legislative Council Environment and Planning Committee Inquiry to examine Planning and Environment Act

The Royal Historical Society of Victoria (RHSV) is the peak body representing approximately 340 community historical societies throughout Victoria. Our members are concerned at the increasing loss of precious heritage and so we welcome this Inquiry. We believe there has been a calamitous decline in the protection afforded local heritage by the Heritage Overlay (HO) as well as a decline in support for Councils to ensure that sites are covered by the HO.

We argue that the Dept of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has abrogated responsibility for local heritage protection & , worse, is seriously undermining it. We demonstrate this through two examples.  The Corkman Hotel  (see image on left) became a target for developers after the Minister approved a Design & Development Overlay (DDO) which prescribed a 13-storey building for the site. Similar DDOs are being applied to the historic shopping strips of Melbourne with the result that developers are being encouraged to demolish most of heritage shop buildings for 6 to 10 storey buildings. These DDOS encourage developers & make a mockery of the Heritage Overlay. Their proliferation shows that DELWP has completely lost sight of its heritage responsibilities. We call for a revitalisation of the State’s role in providing leadership in the protection & management of local heritage.

Further reading:




Historic industrial complex in Richmond

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.

Click here for more details 


Added protection for heritage buildings in the CBD

A review of the heritage protection provided to buildings in Melbourne’s central business district has resulted in additional protection being provided for 133 heritage buildings and five heritage precincts in the city. These include not only buildings from the Victorian and Edwardian era (that is, pre-1914) but also Art Deco buildings from the inter-war period, and Modernist buildings from the post-war period. This is a major win for heritage protection protection that will provide a sound and solid base for the protection of heritage buildings and precincts in the central business district and help preserve the city’s unique charm and amenity.

Click here for more details 

Demolition of historic brickworks buildings

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.

Click here for more details

Protection for industrial heritage in Fishermans Bend

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.

Click here for more details 


Environs of Royal Exhibition Building

The RHSV has been involved in advocacy to ensure that the Royal Exhibition Building and its surrounding area are properly protected from inappropriate developments. This important site was the first in Australia to be awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. The protection of this important site requires the protection of its sounding area, referred to as the World Heritage Environs Area (WHEA). Unfortunately the proper protection of the WHEA was undermined some years ago by a previous government that allowed skyscrapers to be built on the southern edge of the Carlton Gardens. A draft Strategy Plan has been released that contains a number of positive recommendations, which the RHSV would strongly support. This Strategy Plan is currently under consideration, and if implemented will represent a major win for heritage protection in Melbourne.

Click here for more details 


Queen Victoria Markets 

For a number of years now, the RHSV has been involved in efforts to preserve the unique character of the Queen Victoria Market. The future of the market as a traditional fresh food market has been under threat for some time. In 2013 the City of Melbourne announced major changes that were met with widespread opposition.

Despite a ‘people’s panel’ process and major changes to the original Master Plan, significant objections over some fundamental aspects of the redevelopment remain. A major concern relates to the changes to the nature of trading in the market. A constant feature of the planned redevelopment has been to relocate underground the delivery and handling of produce. A widespread concern is that this and other changes to the design and operation of the market will sanitise it, making it more akin to a supermarket, and greatly dilute the market experience that generations of Melbournians and visitors have valued.

Click here for more details 

Require Heritage Advocacy Support?

The RHSV Heritage Committee may be able to assist.