Ms SANDELL (Melbourne) — I rise today to speak to two important heritage issues in my electorate of Melbourne. The first is the threat to the Princess Mary Club building in the CBD. The Princess Mary Club on Lonsdale Street is a rare surviving example of 1920s architecture.
It started out as a hostel for young women coming to work and study in the city, and it was instrumental in increasing participation of women in the workforce. I commend the efforts being made by the Wesley Historic Precinct Action Group and other community groups to save the building and find constructive alternative solutions for all parties involved.
The Princess Mary Club needs restoration. However, a state of disrepair is not an automatic justification for demolition. To replace the building with a 32-storey tower is fundamentally inappropriate for the site and for our city. I join the local community in calling for a more visionary approach to any redevelopment of the site. I call upon the Minister for Planning to ensure that no inappropriate development is allowed to happen on the site and to protect the heritage values of the Princess Mary Club.