The Greens today challenged Planning Minister Richard Wynne to rule out overruling Heritage Victoria’s recommendation to give Federation Square heritage protection, and have vowed to make it a key issue in the marginal seat of Richmond in the upcoming election if he does.
Greens MP for Melbourne, Ellen Sandell, warmly welcomed Heritage Victoria’s recommendation to include Federation Square on the Victorian Heritage Register.
“Federation Square is Melbourne’s public square, and an essential part of Victoria’s cultural history and it should be properly recognised under Victoria’s heritage laws”
But the Greens warned that Planning Minister and Richmond Labor MP Richard Wynne could “call in” the heritage application and essentially overrule the decision to make way for a big Apple megastore.
“Under the Heritage Act, the Planning Minister has the power to call-in heritage recommendations. I call on him today to specifically rule that out,” said Greens candidate for Richmond Kathleen Maltzahn
“Dick Wynne should also specifically rule out any future Labor Planning Minister calling in a heritage permit application to demolish the Yarra Building at Federation Square in favour of Apple or any corporation,” she said.
“Federation Square is owned and loved by the people of Victoria. The Greens stand with them, and won’t tolerate Labor’s botched handling of Federation Square development and management or their handing our public space to big multinational corporations ," she said.
Greens MP Ellen Sandell said that the Greens would make this a key issue in the November election where Labor holds Richmond by the slimmest of margins against the Greens.
“We have an excellent Greens candidate for Richmond who will stand up for public space, unlike Labor who are content to hand it off to big corporations. If Dick Wynne wants to keep his job, he should rule out interfering in the heritage listing of Fed Square and allow public space to remain in public hands” said Ms Sandell.