Unions pledge to protect John Curtin Hotel after it was sold to mystery buyer

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“Any request to redevelop the site will be considered very carefully by us, and by that I mean very carefully,” Deputy Mayor Nicholas Reece said.

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“Melbourne has lost too many of its heritage pubs and it is important that we protect places like the John Curtin Hotel, not only as a significant building in a heritage district, but also as a place of cultural and social significance huge for our city.”

Interim protection means that the heritage value of The Curtin must be considered in any proposed redevelopment of the site, but it is still possible for the new owner to keep just the pub front and turn it into apartments.

The John Curtin Hotel on the edge of the CBD.Credit:penny stephens

“The social value of heritage buildings like The Curtin is recognized in Victoria’s heritage planning system, but this is an area which is still under development and there remains uncertainty as to the exact location of the boundaries,” said Reice.

Felicity Watson, advocacy officer for the National Trust of Australia, said the pub was protected by a local heritage overlay in Melbourne’s planning scheme, which meant any development would have to consider the heritage values ​​of the area. hotel in accordance with the city of Melbourne. heritage policy.

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“The City of Melbourne is proposing to enhance this protection through the current Carlton Heritage Review and we are calling on the Minister for Planning to urgently grant interim protection to The Curtin and other significant places identified in review who might be vulnerable to redevelopment,” Watson mentioned.

The Curtin also hosted waves of contemporary live music ranging from experimental to punk and was one of the first places for emerging Indigenous artists to play in the 80s.

Music Victoria chief executive Simone Schinkel said she hoped changes to planning plans in 2020 requiring councils and developers to consider the adverse impact a development proposal would have on opportunities live music would provide some level of protection.

“This is a test for changes to planning laws,” she said. “Until you’ve tested it, you don’t know how [the protection] is. Everything is in place, but if someone is aiming to find a way out, they will.

Schinkel said Music Victoria would do everything possible behind the scenes to make sure everyone understood their obligations.

“The Curtin has a long, very long history for live music, a lot of people have been featured there over the years and it’s the kind of size that’s important, you have to keep the venues small, medium and large.”

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