The parties disagreed to some degree about the appropriate extent of registration for the place and about the way in which significant elements of the place, particularly trees and other vegetation, were dealt with in the description of the extent.
Submissions and evidence
The City of Melbourne was broadly supportive of the recommended extent of registration reflecting the parklands reserved in the mid-nineteenth century. However, Mr Lovell argued that the significance of the place derives in large part from its history of incorporating diverse places, and submitted that an alternative way of addressing the issue of registered places within the Domain would be to register the Domain in its entirety with wholesale permit exemptions for the registered places.
The City of Melbourne also submitted that the Queen Victoria and Linlithgow Memorials could be removed from the Register in their own rights as it would be more appropriate to include them in the Domain Parklands registration. The City of Melbourne also proposed that the Boer War Memorial could be registered as an object, given it has been moved.
The City of Melbourne pointed out that that La Trobe’s Cottage is registered without land and that the parcel of land upon which the cottage sits is shown as excluded from the Domain Parklands extent, probably in error.
The Executive Director and the Royal Botanic Gardens submitted that the triangular area of land between the Gardens and the Former Melbourne Observatory, the Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden, should be excluded from the extent of registration. The City of Melbourne was generally supportive of the inclusion of this portion in the Domain Parklands extent; however, their preference was for this portion to be incorporated into the Royal Botanic Gardens registration. The Executive Director argued that the place has no heritage value in connection with the Royal Botanic Gardens.
The City of Melbourne submitted that the excised area of land at the intersection with the Swan Street Bridge should be included in the extent of registration.
Trees and Plantings
The Royal Botanic Gardens supported the City of Melbourne’s initial proposal that the extent should be amended to only include the planting that is identified as significant in the ‘Domain Parklands Conservation Analysis’ prepared by John Patrick Pty Ltd dated October 2003 (‘the Conservation Analysis’). It was submitted that the phrase ‘all of the planting in the Domain’ is misleading and would see plantings with no heritage significance included in the registration.
The Executive Director proposed amending the ‘General’ section of the extent of registration to include ‘All of the trees and palms including avenues, rows and individuals growing in the Domain Parklands including the following species’. The Executive Director provided a list of species that had been identified and submitted that listing species in this way is consistent with the approach taken for the registration of the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens (H1501).
The City of Melbourne ultimately submitted that it may be appropriate for the extent of registration not to explicitly reference plantings at all, but to describe valued landscape characteristics. It was submitted that a description of significant trees and plantings could be more appropriately located in the statement of significance.
Roads and paths
The City of Melbourne sought greater clarity in relation to roadways and paths and submitted that the extent of registration should be revised to identify roads, paths and path systems of primary and contributory significance.
The City of Melbourne preferred that roads be distinguished in the extent from paths and the Tan and listed as follows:
P2 The Tan
The Executive Director submitted that the extent of registration should include the following roads: Boathouse, Government House and Dallas Brooks Drives; and Anzac, Linlithgow, Birdwood and Alexandra Avenues and that Allotment S, Allotments 2063, 2066 and 2067 (Dallas Brooks Drive) and Allotment 2009 (Anderson Street path) South Yarra, Parish of Melbourne South should be added to the extent.
The City of Melbourne and the Executive Director agreed that the Sybil Howy Irving tree should be noted as a feature when location information is provided by the City of Melbourne. The City of Melbourne also supported the proposal to include the Brick Drains/Perimeter Brick Channel in the extent of registration.
The City of Melbourne submitted that the following items should be removed from the list of features given their limited significance or relatively recent construction:
The Executive Director held that the circular iron seat should be included as it is a rare example and contributes to the significance of the place. The City of Melbourne opposed this suggestion.
The Executive Director submitted that Rotary Park is sufficiently recognised in the extent of registration. The land and trees are recommended for inclusion and the Rotary Seat is listed as feature F35 in the extent. As noted above, the City of Melbourne submitted that the Rotary Seat should be removed from the extent of registration.
Discussion and conclusion
The Committee is sympathetic to the idea put forward by Mr Lovell to register the entire extent of the Domain Parklands, including the already registered places; however, consideration of this registration is restricted to the recommended extent that was advertised by the Executive Director.
The Committee finds that the triangle of land at the Swan Street Bridge, the land under La Trobe’s Cottage and the land that is currently the Children’s Garden should be included in the extent of registration on the basis that they are historically part of the Domain Parklands. Inclusion of the Children’s Garden in the Botanic Gardens registration is considered to be inappropriate, as this area is not historically connected to the Botanic Gardens.
The Committee was not provided with any information, other than the Executive Director’s advice regarding the Melbourne Grammar Boat House, on which to assess the level of cultural heritage significance of the boat houses and the land upon which they are located north of Boathouse Drive. The Committee has therefore decided to exclude this portion of land from the Registration.
In terms of identifying particular buildings and features in the extent of registration, the Committee has identified those that contribute to the significance of the place. The Committee determines to include the places listed by the Executive Director, including the Tilly Aston Bell, Maltese George Cross memorial, Australian Hellenic war memorial, Walker fountain, Victoria Police memorial, Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop memorial statue, Edward Honey memorial, circular iron seat and Rotary seat. The Committee determines not to include specific reference to trees and plantings in the extent of registration, pending further work to define significant and contributory vegetation.
The Committee finds that that Allotment S, Allotments 2063, 2066 and 2067 (Dallas Brooks Drive) and South Yarra, Parish of Melbourne South should be added to the extent. The Committee took the view that the footpath of Anderson Street was not a significant aspect of the place and did not include Allotment 2009, which also covers the roadway of Anderson Street.
The Extent of Registration and associated map have been updated to reflect the Committee’s decisions.