After considering a recommendation and the submissions and conducting a hearing into those submissions, pursuant to Section 42(1)(b) the Heritage Council has determined that part of the place is of cultural heritage significance to the State of Victoria and should be included in the Heritage Register.
Mr John Hawker, Heritage Officer (Horticulture) appeared on behalf of the Executive Director.
The Domain Parklands is Crown Land. Mr Peter Lovell and Ms Kate Gray of Lovell Chen Architects & Heritage Consultants appeared on behalf of the City of Melbourne, which is the committee of management for the majority of the place. Mr Rob Adams, Ms Angela Hill, Ms Elizabeth Alcorn and Mr Ian Shears of the City of Melbourne also appeared.
Professor Ian Ferguson and Mr Alan Threader appeared on behalf of the Rotary Club of Melbourne (‘Rotary’).
Written submissions A written submission was received from the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne.
The City of Melbourne provided a letter in support of the recommendation from the National Council of Women in Victoria. A letter from Victoria Police noting that they did not wish to make a submission was also provided.
A written submission was received from Arts Victoria following the hearing. This was forwarded to all parties on 26 February 2013 and no objections were made to the Committee considering this submission.
The Domain Parklands, Melbourne includes a number of reserves in the area bounded by St Kilda Road to the west, the Yarra River to the north, Anderson Street to the east and Domain Road to the south. These reserves include Alexandra Gardens, Alexandra Park, Queen Victoria Gardens, King's Domain North and King's Domain South.
Other areas within the precinct that are excluded from the place as they are already listed on the Victorian Heritage Register (‘the Register’) are:
Shrine of Remembrance (H0848)
Royal Botanic Gardens (H1459)
Government House Complex (H1620)
Sidney Myer Music Bowl (H1772)
La Trobe’s Cottage (H1076)
Melbourne University Boat Club Shed (H0682)
Queen Victoria Memorial (H0369)
Marquis of Linlithgow Memorial (H0366)
Boer War Monument (H0382)
Former Observatory Site (H1087).
A large part of the Domain Parklands is in a Heritage Overlay in the Melbourne Planning Scheme as HO6 (South Yarra Precinct). This includes HO14 (Aboriginal Burial Site, Kings Domain). The area between Boathouse Drive and the Yarra River containing a number of boat houses is excluded from the Heritage Overlay.
As outlined above, the place surrounds or is adjacent to a number of places already included in the Register.
In 1998, the Old Wooden Stable Building in the Domain was nominated by the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) (‘the Trust’). The Trust requested a hearing after the Executive Director recommended that the place not be included in the Register. The Trust withdrew their request on the condition that the Stable would be included in a future assessment of the entire Domain Parklands.
The Domain Parklands was nominated by the Executive Director on 19 April 2012.
On 18 May 2012, the Executive Director recommended that the place be included in the Register.
Submissions objecting to the permit policy and exemptions for the place were received from the City of Melbourne and Rotary Club of Melbourne. Pursuant to s41 of the Heritage Act 1995 (‘the Heritage Act’) the Heritage Council determined the matter with a hearing.
The Committee inspected the site on 21 February 2013 accompanied by the Hearings Officer and Mr Glenn MacColl of the City of Melbourne’s Park Services. No submissions were received during the course of the inspection.
With the agreement of all parties to the hearing, the chair tabled a matrix prepared by the Committee setting out the content of written submissions received.
Direction issued to Executive Director
The Committee advised at the conclusion of the hearing that a direction would be issued to the Executive Director. By letter dated 26 February 2013, the Committee directed that, in consultation with the City of Melbourne and the Royal Botanic Gardens (in relation to the Children’s Garden), a detailed description of the plantings to be included in the extent of registration for the place should be prepared. This should include:
map(s) of areas of vegetation of primary and contributory significance (including avenues, rows and groups of trees or shrubs), cross referenced to a detailed list (by species) of the significant or contributory plants in these areas
a list of significant and contributory individual specimen trees or other plants, with an accompanying map or maps showing their location
The Committee recognised that consensus may not be able to be achieved in relation to all potentially significant or contributory vegetation. It sought the submission of a proposal that was generally acceptable to all parties, noting those matters still unresolved. It advised that these would be dealt with via supplementary submissions.
The Committee also requested further information on the proposal to identify the Melbourne Grammar Boat House as a significant building within the registered place (see pages 7 and 8 of this report).
A response to the direction was received from the Executive Director on 29 April 2013 enclosing a letter from the City of Melbourne dated 23 April 2013 and advising that the task outlined in the direction letter was not able to be undertaken in the time allowed. The City of Melbourne requested that the Committee consider either deferring its decision until a Conservation Management Plan (‘CMP’) and Master Plan were prepared or proceeding to register in a form that did not specifically reference an extent of registration for plantings. The Executive Director was supportive of the Heritage Council proceeding to registration with the expectation that the policy and exemptions could be varied when the CMP and Master Plan are available.
A letter from the City of Melbourne further clarifying their position was received on 30 April 2013.
Further information about specific trees in Rotary Park was received from Rotary in May 2013. This was not included in the Committee’s consideration but will be provided to the City of Melbourne to assist in the preparation of a Conservation Management Plan.
This section is not intended to be a complete record of submissions that were made to the Committee. It is a summary of what the Committee considers to be the key issues, followed by an explanation of the position the Committee takes on each issue.
Any reference to Criteria refers to the ‘Heritage Council Criteria for Assessment of Places of Cultural Heritage Significance’ (see Attachment 1 to this report). The Committee acknowledges that it is possible for values to contribute to more than one Criterion. The Committee has therefore assigned submissions to the Criteria that it believes to be relevant, as in some instances parties have addressed the same issue, but applied different Criteria.
Summary of issues
The City of Melbourne supported the inclusion of the place in the Register but proposed amendments to the extent of registration, permit policy and exemptions. A number of amendments to allow for more effective management of the place without compromising its heritage values were proposed, consistent with arrangements at other heritage gardens managed by the City of Melbourne.
Rotary also supported the inclusion of the place in the Register but requested greater recognition of the role of the Rotary Club in Victoria and of Rotary Park, located in the southeast corner of the place.
The Executive Director agreed with some of the proposed changes, and submitted her own amendments to the statement of significance, extent of registration, permit policy and exemptions.
The Royal Botanic Gardens and Arts Victoria supported the proposal to include the Domain Parklands in the Register.