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Labor’s heritage values are all out of whack

The priorities of the Andrews Labor Government and its heritage authority, Heritage Victoria, are completely wrong.

As scores of beautiful heritage homes are routinely destroyed, this Labor Government and its heritage authority, does nothing to stop it.

Yesterday it was announced that Federation Square, just 17 years old, will be added to the Victorian Heritage Register. Quite why this modern and less than universally loved collection of buildings and public space (some would say ugly) warrants heritage protection, will confound many Victorians.

At the same time Federation Square was approved for heritage listing, the Andrews Government made an application to heritage protect the Eastern Freeway, some 25 years older than Federation Square.

In Question Time today, Planning Minister Richard Wynne could not explain what heritage characteristics of the Eastern Freeway the government was attempting to protect; “there may well be some heritage structures there that may well be of interest…”

Many Victorians will think that the Andrews Labor Government’s referral of the Eastern Freeway for heritage protection is some kind of joke.

Apparently, the Eastern Freeway has “aesthetic and historical heritage values” for its design and engineering. How absurd. It’s a brutal concrete carpark.

As Bryce Prosser from the RACV said: “It is essential the freeway’s flexibility is protected for the future and a heritage listing may prevent this.”

If the Eastern Freeway heritage bid is successful, it will make a much-needed East West Link from the Eastern Freeway to the Tullamarine Freeway far more difficult to achieve.

Meanwhile from Carnegie to Ascot Vale and Essendon, from Kew, to Hawthorn and Elsternwick, saving heritage homes is becoming the hot button issue around Melbourne. Tim Smith MP Shadow Minister for Planning and Heritage

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