Demolition of Whitlam birthplace on hold

The demolition of former prime minister Gough Whitlam's birthplace has been put on hold.

Mr Whitlam, who died on Tuesday aged 98, was born at the house in Kew, Melbourne. His parents sold it when he was one year old and the family moved to Sydney.

A demolition order was lodged for the property in April, before an application for heritage protection was rejected by the office of Planning Minister Matthew Guy.

However, Mr Guy said on Thursday he had applied for an interim protection order to put the demolition on hold, a move granted by the Heritage Council.

City of Boroondara mayor Coral Ross said the council was pleased "this valuable piece of Australia's history" was being protected for now.

The demolition will be on hold for about four months while the issue of heritage protection is examined.

Mr Guy said the interim protection order meant works on the property had to stop immediately and it would allow for a fresh consideration of the property's cultural significance given Mr Whitlam's death.

He said he had no direct power as planning minister to intervene and any person may apply for an interim protection order as he did.