Melbourne pub set for heritage protection

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

A historic Melbourne pub is a step closer to staving off any potential redevelopment, with the building recommended for inclusion on Victoria's heritage register.

The Curtin Hotel in Carlton was sold to overseas developers in April, putting a cloud over the venue's future beyond the expiry of its lease at the end of November.

Opposite the Victorian Trades Hall Council, the pub - one of Australia's oldest - has been a popular watering hole for Labor and union luminaries, including former prime minister Bob Hawke.

Although the building's heritage overlay was protected by existing council rules, the Victorian Trades Hall Council launched a pre-emptive union "green ban" to prevent it being torn down.

But it appears the move will no longer be necessary, with Heritage Victoria confirming on Monday it has assessed the pub as being of "state level significance".

The body has recommended to the independent Heritage Council of Victoria that it be included on the register, joining about 2300 other objects and places such as Flinders Street Station and Parliament House.

If accepted, The Curtin won't be able to be altered in any way by its new owners unless Heritage Victoria grants approval.

Luke Hilakari, Secretary of Victorian Trades Hall Council, applauded the recommendation and hailed the campaign to save the pub, named after wartime Labor prime minister John Curtin.

"This is an important collective win and a vital step to prevent precious historical buildings from being flattened by developers who want to spin a dollar at the community's expense," he said.

Melbourne's Corkman Hotel was illegally demolished in 2016, resulting in its developers being fined more than $1 million and jailed after failing to turn the site into a public park.

Too many of the city's heritage pubs had been lost over the decades, Melbourne Deputy Lord Mayor Nicholas Reece said, and letting The Curtin become another victim was not an option.

"This is a landmark decision which provides hope for Victoria's many other at-risk heritage pubs," he said.

National Trust of Australia's executive advocacy manager Felicity Watson said The Curtin was more than just bricks and mortar - it was a place where state-shaping decisions had been made.

"It is vital to protect The Curtin, not only for its historical importance but for its ongoing role as a meeting place for the labour movement, and one of Melbourne's most important live music venues," she said.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting