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. Click on the item’s heading for the full document or to read more.

The current projects include:

  • Juukan Gorge, WA
  • Fishermens Bend
  • Royal Exhibition Building Environs
  • Queen Victoria Market
  • Midlands Highway Trees
  • Corkman Hotel
  • Historic Shopping Strips
  • Federation Square
  • Southbank and Fishermans Bend Heritage Review and the Hoddle Grid Heritage Review
  • 340-342 High St Northcote
  • Porter Prefabricated Iron Store, Fitzroy North

When an advocacy project closes or a statement is superseded it may be removed from this page.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.


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.


July 2020 •  RHSV Protests Minister’s Short-Circuiting Plans for Heritage Listing of GMH Site

The iconic GMH site at Fishermans Bend, where Ben Chifley launched the first Holden, was on track to be listed on the Victorian Heritage Register until, in February, Planning Minister Richard Wynne called in the nomination. The Minister is short-circuiting the heritage and planning processes to facilitate a development that will destroy much of the historic fabric before the site is registered. We have written to the Minister to urge him to follow proper process.


1) The RHSV’s letter to the Hon. Richard Wynne, MP, Minister for Planning, 13 July 2020

2) The RHSV’s letter to Professor Duncan Maskell, Vice-Chancellor, The University of Melbourne, 13 July 2020

3) The RHSV’s submission to the Heritage Council supporting registration of the GMH site


2 June 2020 Submission to Future Melbourne Committee (City of Melbourne) 
3 April 2020 • Submission to Heritage Victoria on the proposed Northern Shed
3 April 2020 • Submission to Heritage Victoria on the proposed Trader Shed
19 Nov 2019 • Heritage Committee Chair, Charles Sowerwine, speaks at a QVM public forum

Charles’ speech can be read here – it is a brilliant and succinct summing up of this protracted, complicated, many-fronted campaign.

13 Nov 2019 • RHSV lodges submission with Heritage Victoria re Permit P31886
1 Nov 2019 • RHSV lodges a submission re Market Square

The submission was lodged with the Queen Victoria Market Precinct Renewal Program Office. Our Heritage Committee outlines its concern that the proposed event space would endanger the traditional use of the market.

16 Oct 2019 • RHSV Slams Proposals to Sanitise QVM

Our submission to the Melbourne City Council opposes discontinuance of roads intended to provide space for new buildings that will radically alter the market’s traditional mode of operation

17 Sep 2019 • Submission to Future Melbourne Committee

Regarding Agenda Item 6.6 Queen Victoria Market Precinct Renewal Program – Provision of Market Infrastructure

16 Sep 2019 • RHSV submission to Heritage Council of Victoria

Regarding Proposal to Amend the Extent of Registration of the Queen Victoria Market with regard to Queen Street

2 Apr 2019 • Submission to Future Melbourne Committee

The RHSV sets forth its concerns on heritage issues.

29 Mar 2019 • Letter to The Hon Lord Mayor Sally Capp

Prof. Charles Sowerwine, Chair of the RHSV Heritage Committee, congratulates the Lord Mayor for ‘having turned around and largely defused the problems’ linked to projects she inherited around the refashioning of the Queen Victoria Market.

1 Dec 2018 • Melbourne • Victory at the QVM People’s Panel: The Great Turnaround

The People’s Panel was, in the end, a great victory for those of us who support preservation and revitalization of the market on the basis of its heritage, but it’s not over yet.

 1 Nov 2018 • Melbourne • Heritage Victoria Officer’s Report – Queen Victoria Market

The Friends of Queen Victoria Market have obtained release of this report, which the City of Melbourne had kept under wraps. It is the internal report which led to the decision to refuse a permit for the Doyle plan to dismantle the historic sheds, excavate three levels below them for parking and services, and rebuild the sheds with many new structures.

31 Oct 2018 • Melbourne • Update on Queen Victoria Market ‘People’s Panel’

In last week’s statement on the Queen Victoria Market ‘People’s Panel’, we noted that the first two sessions had, as a fellow participant remarked to me, ‘tried to railroad us’ into accepting the discredited Doyle plan for the market, the plan rejected by Heritage Victoria. We protested in letters to the organisers and then to the Lord Mayor. Others too had written to the Lord Mayor expressing concern.

The Friends of the Queen Victoria Market obtained the release of Heritage Victoria’s internal report on the Doyle plan, which is a searing indictment of the whole plan (it is also on our web site). And our statement was picked up by the Herald-Sun on Saturday (‘Historian slams market panel’, 27 October 2018, p. 16). All this may have contributed to a new attitude on the part of facilitators and City of Melbourne and QVM Pty Ltd staff when the third panel session opened on Saturday morning.

25 Oct 2018 • Melbourne • Statement on Queen Victoria Market ‘People’s Panel’

The RHSV has participated in good faith in the first two sessions of Melbourne City Council’s ‘People’s Panel’ regarding the development of the Queen Victoria Market. We were assured that ‘everything was on the table.’ But it has now become clear, as the panel’s web portal proclaims to participants, that our ‘remit’ is only to ‘help shape the delivery and location of trader and customer facilities at Queen Victoria Market’ and that the nature of these facilities is non-negotiable.


16 Sep 2019 •

The loss of trees resulting from proposed upgrades to the Midlands and Western Highways has been much in the news. The Buninyong and District Historical Society have protested to the Minister for Roads regarding the Midlands Highway and the RHSV has supported them.


29 May 2019 • North Fitzroy, Victoria • Submission to Heritage Council of Victoria

On 29 May the Heritage Committee of the RHSV made a major submission to the Heritage Council of Victoria regarding planned amendments by the City of Yarra to Design and Development Overlays covering historic strip shopping centres. The RHSV has also been lobbying individual Councillors.  We become aware, whilst preparing our submission, that the same approach was being applied not just by the City of Yarra but throughout the inner and middle suburbs of Melbourne.

4 Dec 2018 • North Fitzroy, Victoria • Major Threat to Historic Shopping Strips

The RHSV has lodged an objection to a planning amendment which threatens the heritage fabric of the North Fitzroy Queens Parade shopping strip and risks being extended to other historic shopping strips.



5 Apr 2019 • Success!

On Friday 5 April, Heritage Victoria issued a determination, refusing the application from Fed Square Proprietary Ltd to demolish part of Fed Square and replace it with an Apple Global Flagship Store. Apple subsequently announced it was withdrawing from the deal. Congratulations to all concerned.

The reasons for refusal bear out the arguments made by the RHSV and others, notably the National Trust and Citizens for Melbourne.

12 Feb 2019: Submission to Heritage Victoria: Federation Square and Apple Flagship Store

The Royal Historical Society of Victoria objects strenuously to the application to demolish the Yarra Building and replace it with an Apple Flagship Store. Federation Square has been the culmination of a 150-year dream for a civic space. The application is totally at odds with that dream. If a permit were granted for demolition of part of the Square and its replacement by an Apple Store, the Square would cease to be a civic space.

15 Dec 2018 • Submission to the Heritage Council: Federation Square

The RHSV strongly supports the Executive Director’s recommendation for inclusion of Federation Square in the Victorian Heritage Register. Federation Square is of state-wide, if not national, architectural and cultural significance as a remarkably coherent ensemble of late 20th-Century civic architecture and on this basis alone merits registration as a whole, intact package.

8 Aug 2018 • Melbourne • Statement on Heritage Protection for Federation Square

Melbourne has long dreamt of a civic square that would be a public space at the heart of the city, offering a meeting place open to all. Federation Square has quickly established itself as the fulfilment of that dream.



The Heritage Council of Victoria is currently reviewing arrangements for local heritage. On behalf of the Council, the RHSV surveyed its member societies, asking their thoughts on the current state of protection for heritage. We received 113 substantial responses. To learn more, read the report.



2 Jun 2019 • Carlton • Ian Wight’s letter to the Editor, The Age explains the real problem with the Corkman Cowboys
5 Dec 2018 • Carlton • Corkman Hotel Developer/Demolishers Get their Way

The Corkman Hotel saga ends with a complete victory for the developers. But the seeds of that victory were in the contradiction between the heritage overlay that was supposed to protect it and the planning scheme which encouraged developers to put up a 40 metre tower on the site!



23 Oct 2018 • Melbourne • Three Vital Planning Scheme Amendments Approved

The protection of Guildford and Hardware Laneways and of eight individual buildings (C301) will protect a much-loved corner of the City. Implementing the findings of the Southbank and Fishermans Bend Heritage Review (C304) is most welcome in protecting what remains of the heritage there. And a point of especial satisfaction for us is your decision to implement the recommendations of the Hoddle Grid Heritage Review (C327).

21 Aug 2018 • Melbourne • RHSV Supports Melbourne Planning Scheme Amendments C327 and C328–Hoddle Grid Heritage Review

The Royal Historical Society of Victoria strongly supports the work done by the Hoddle Grid Heritage Review. We commend the Melbourne City Council Urban Strategy section and Heritage Team for their excellent work.


21 Aug 2018 • Northcote • Statement of Grounds 340-342 High Street Northcote/VCAT Ref P1435/2018

Splendid 1888 Northcote bank chambers threatened with facadism.

The Royal Historical Society of Victoria is deeply concerned by this proposed development. We agree with and strongly support the thrust of the Recommendation in Delegates’ Report, City of Darebin (Application for Planning Permit D/186/2018, 340 & 342 High Street, Northcote 3070).




19 Jun 2018 • Fitzroy North • RHSV Submission to Heritage Victoria on Porter Prefabricated Iron Store, Fitzroy North

We write to express our concerns regarding the proposal to dismantle, relocate and reassemble this building.

Submission to Review of Strategy Plan for World Heritage Environs Area – Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens.  May 2020

Require Heritage Advocacy Support?

The RHSV Heritage Committee may be able to assist.