The National Trust of Australia (Victoria) has come out in support of Heritage Victoria's recommendation to include Federation Square on the Victorian Heritage Register.
The Trust pursued its nomination of Federation Square to the Victorian Heritage Register earlier this year, after a year of consultation with heritage and architectural experts who determined the heritage value of Federation Square is worth protecting.
According to Heritage Victoria, the site meets six out of eight eligible criteria to be recognised at a state level.
"While it is only 16 yeard old, Federation Square is Victoria's premier civic space and is considered a place of historical, cultural and social significance to our state, and an architectural and engineering marvel," says Simon Ambrose, National Trust CEO.
"We think the state government and Federation Square management should take pride in this decision, which recognises Federation Square alongside our other great cultural institutions like the NGV, the Arts Centre, and the Sidney Myer Music Bowl."
Heritage Victoria's recommendation to include Federation Square will now be considered by the Heritage Council of Victoria, who will make the final decision.
If added to the Register, Federation Square may still be subject to development in the future, but any proposed changes will need to consider the site's architectural and cultural values.
“The National Trust is not opposed to development at Federation Square, provided that any proposed changes are appropriate within the architectural and cultural context of the site," adds Ambrose.
"We are confident that inclusion on the Victorian Heritage Register will not stand in the way of Federation Square's day-to-day operations, and we support appropriate permits and exemptions that will ensure it continues to thrive asa vibrant place of gathering and celebration."
While the Heritage Council considers its decision, National Trust has asked all Victorians to support the inclusion of Federation Square on the Victorian Heritage Register during a 60-day public consultation period.
"Anyone can make a submission supporting the recommendation, which will help to strengthen our case and show the Heritage Council how much Federation Square means to all Victorians. Submissions must be made to the Heritage Council by 5pm Sunday, 16 December 2018," says Ambrose.