‘Dumb idea’: Heritage listing for servos slammed

A council plan to give two petrol stations beside the West Gate Freeway heritage listing has been criticised as “one of the dumbest ideas”.

Two modern petrol stations on the West Gate Freeway could get heritage listing in what’s been called a “dumb idea”.

It’s believed that the United servos on each side of the freeway in Port Melbourne are part of a heritage study of the Fishermans Bend area for the City of Melbourne.

The former Shell stations feature shade sails which some have likened to a circus tent.

It’s understood that a consultant hired by the council has recommended heritage listing for the 1980s structures, and that councillors have been briefed on the broader study.

Renowned Melbourne University architecture professor Miles Lewis said there was no time limit on heritage evaluation.

”It’s really and indication of cultural judgment, and I think they (the stations) would probably qualify,” he said.

“Age makes things scarcer so they become more important because there are fewer of them, but in this case (the servos) are unique for Victoria.”.

“It’s a very distinctive form, and quite a pleasing one.”

But former state Liberal planning minister Matthew Guy said that listing the buildings, which also host Pie Face stores, would be “one of the dumbest ideas I’ve ever heard”.

“How much did they pay the consultant?” he said.

“This is a good argument for a serious review into local government if a council is prepared to pay thousands of ratepayer dollars to a consultant, to recommend a heritage listing for some 1980s petrol stations.”

A council spokeswoman said the Fishermans Bend Heritage Review will be considered by councillors in coming weeks.

“Fishermans Bend has a long industrial history, and an independent consultant has put forward a number of potential sites for protection,” she said.

“No decisions have been made, and the recommendations are yet to be considered by councillors.”

The spokeswoman said that by 2050, Fishermans Bend could house about 80,000 residents, and provide up to 80,000 jobs.

The council wants the state government to commit to the Metro 2 rail project, which would include underground stations at Fishermans Bend.


Extracted from Herald Sun

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