RHSV Submission Point Nepean National Park Draft Master Plan

Thoroughness and Direction Commended

The RHSV strongly supports the Nepean Historical Society’s proposal for an advisory committee…

8 February 2017


Point Nepean National Park
Location: Point Nepean

Submission, PNNP Draft Master Plan

To: Katie.Williams@parks.vic.gov.au, pointnepeanmasterplan@parks.vic.gov.au

Dear Katie

The Heritage Committee of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria (RHSV), which represents 340 local historical societies throughout the state of Victoria, makes the following submission in response to the Point Nepean National Park Draft Master Plan.

The RHSV commends the thoroughness and direction of the PNNP Draft Master Plan and in particular the emphasis on shared histories (pre-and post-European settlement), preservation of important heritage sites, and the careful consideration of ways of preserving and funding the ongoing maintenance of the highly significant Quarantine Station heritage precinct. The Society’s Heritage Committee also supports the submission of its affiliate, the Nepean Historical Society, and emphasises the expertise its members bring to all the issues involved from the many years they have spent researching and campaigning for ‘protection of
the site’s highly significant heritage, and the realisation of opportunities for public appreciation and enjoyment of that heritage’.

The RHSV reinforces the Nepean Historical Society’s concern about the Draft Master Plan’s ‘Future Governance Considerations’ (p. 136), noting the focus in Section 11.7 on centralised Parks Victoria management structures. In our October 2015 submission on the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council Draft Proposals Paper, we pointed out the potential role of local historical societies in providing expert advice for heritage protection on public land. The RHSV strongly supports the Nepean Historical
Society’s proposal for an advisory committee dedicated specifically to providing independent advice to Parks Victoria management on the site’s cultural and historic heritage, and suggests that experts from the society and from the National Trust be represented on such a committee.

The RHSV supports recommendation of public funding to be applied to the Quarantine Station as a catalyst project for restoration and reconstruction of the Disinfecting/Bath cluster of building. We are also in overall support of the optimum mixed-use scenario for sustainable maintenance of the Quarantine Station precinct in the long term, subject to adherence to the Conservation Management Plan policies and strategies.

However, we have some concerns that the proposals for visitor experience of the Quarantine Station precinct do not sufficiently emphasise the functional connections between the buildings and hence the overall unity of the site historically. While adaptive re-use of some of the buildings is supported, it should not obscure the original functions of those buildings; thus walking guides and signage should reinforce understanding of the relationships between the buildings and their role as a whole in the stages of experience of immigrants, from arrival at the jetty, to disinfection and accommodation, to isolation in some cases, and to death and burial in others.

Like the Nepean Historical Society, the RHSV also notes the importance of the two preserved lime kilns on the Port Phillip Bay shoreline of the Point Nepean area, and urges Parks Victoria to include them in its plans for enhancing the visitor experience in the Point Nepean National Park.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

Judith Smart, RHSV Councillor and member RHSV Heritage Committee, judithsmart@ozemail.com.au

On behalf of the RHSV Heritage Committee:

Professor Charles Sowerwine, Chair and RHSV Councillor, c.sowerwine@gmail.com
Margaret Anderson, RHSV Councillor and member RHSV Heritage Committee,


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