Statement of Significance
What is significant?
No.21 Dredger was ordered by the State Electricity Commission of Victoria (SECV) in 1950 and commenced operation in the Morwell open cut in October 1955. The opening of the Morwell open cut in 1949 marked the beginning of the significant expansion of the activities of the SEC during the post-war growth and industrial expansion of Victoria.
No.21 Dredger was the third of four bucket wheel excavators with crowd on the bucket wheel boom purchased by the SECV. The crowd function, which was a feature of bucket wheel excavators developed in the interwar period, necessitated a number of special adaptations including a travelling counterweight, a thrust drive and an intermediate conveyer between the boom conveyor and the discharge conveyor. Progression in the technology of continuous extraction of brown coal from open cut mines was marked first by bucket chain excavators, then by bucket wheel excavators with crowd and later by much larger bucket wheel excavators with fixed length bucket wheel booms. All bucket wheel excavators ordered by the SECV after 1960 had fixed length bucket wheel booms.
No.21 Dredger was built by Lubecker Maschinebau Gesellschaft (LMG), of Lubeck, West Germany. It is mounted on crawlers and fitted with a slewable superstructure. It has a service weight of 725 tons. It was used for excavating overburden and brown coal from the Morwell open cut mine until August 1992 when it was retired. It was placed on display at the Powerworks Visitor Centre from 1995.
How is it significant?
No.21 Dredger is of historical and scientific (technological) significance to the State of Victoria
Why is it significant?
No.21 Dredger is of historical significance as the first bucket wheel excavator to be used in the Morwell open cut mine.
No.21 Dredger is historically significant for its rarity as the oldest surviving bucket wheel excavator of those purchased by the SECV in the post-war period. It is also significant for its rarity as the only surviving bucket wheel excavator from the first generation with crowd mechanism.
As the only surviving bucket wheel dredge with crowd (thrust) in Victoria, No.21 Dredger is of scientific (technological) significance for its potential to yield information about the design of the first generation of bucket wheel excavators.
No.21 Dredger is of scientific (technological) significance for its capacity to represent the successful adaptation to the Victorian brown coal fields of continuous extraction technologies developed for German open cut brown coal mines.
NO 21 DREDGER - Plaque Citation
This crawler mounted bucket wheel excavator was purchased from Germany by the SECV and allowed continuous extraction from the open cut brown coal mines in the Latrobe Valley from 1955 to 1992. It is the oldest bucket wheel excavator in Victoria and the only one of its type surviving.
NO 21 DREDGER - Permit ExemptionsGeneral Conditions: 1. All exempted alterations are to be planned and carried out in a manner which prevents damage to the fabric of the registered place or object. General Conditions: 2. Should it become apparent during further inspection or the carrying out of works that original or previously hidden or inaccessible details of the place or object are revealed which relate to the significance of the place or object, then the exemption covering such works shall cease and Heritage Victoria shall be notified as soon as possible. Note: All archaeological places have the potential to contain significant sub-surface artefacts and other remains. In most cases it will be necessary to obtain approval from the Executive Director, Heritage Victoria before the undertaking any works that have a significant sub-surface component. General Conditions: 3. If there is a conservation policy and plan endorsed by the Executive Director, all works shall be in accordance with it. Note: The existence of a Conservation Management Plan or a Heritage Action Plan endorsed by the Executive Director, Heritage Victoria provides guidance for the management of the heritage values associated with the site. It may not be necessary to obtain a heritage permit for certain works specified in the management plan. General Conditions: 4. Nothing in this determination prevents the Executive Director from amending or rescinding all or any of the permit exemptions. General Conditions: 5. Nothing in this determination exempts owners or their agents from the responsibility to seek relevant planning or building permits from the responsible authorities where applicable. Public Safety and Security : The following public safety and security activities are permit exempt under section 66 of the Heritage Act 1995, a) public safety and security activities provided the works do not involve the removal or destruction of any significant above-ground structures or sub-surface archaeological artefacts or deposits; b) the erection of temporary security fencing, scaffolding, hoardings or surveillance systems to prevent unauthorised access or secure public safety which will not adversely affect significant fabric of the place including archaeological features; c) development including emergency stabilisation necessary to secure safety where a site feature has been irreparably damaged or destabilised and represents a safety risk to its users or the public. Note: Urgent or emergency site works are to be undertaken by an appropriately qualified specialist such as a structural engineer, or other heritage professional. Signage and Site Interpretation : The following Signage and Site Interpretation activities are permit exempt under section 66 of the Heritage Act 1995, a) signage and site interpretation activities provided the works do not involve the removal or destruction of any significant above-ground structures or sub-surface archaeological artefacts or deposits; b) the erection of non-illuminated signage for the purpose of ensuring public safety or to assist in the interpretation of the heritage significance of the place or object and which will not adversely affect significant fabric including landscape or archaeological features of the place or obstruct significant views of and from heritage values or items; c) signage and site interpretation products must be located and be of a suitable size so as not to obscure or damage significant fabric of the place; d) signage and site interpretation products must be able to be later removed without causing damage to the significant fabric of the place; Note: The development of signage and site interpretation products must be consistent in the use of format, text, logos, themes and other display materials. Note: Where possible, the signage and interpretation material should be consistent with other schemes developed on similar or associated sites. It may be necessary to consult with land managers and other stakeholders concerning existing schemes and strategies for signage and site interpretation. Minor Works : Note: Any Minor Works that in the opinion of the Executive Director will not adversely affect the heritage significance of the place may be exempt from the permit requirements of the Heritage Act. A person proposing to undertake minor works may submit a proposal to the Executive Director. If the Executive Director is satisfied that the proposed works will not adversely affect the heritage values of the site, the applicant may be exempted from the requirement to obtain a heritage permit. If an applicant is uncertain whether a heritage permit is required, it is recommended that the permits co-ordinator be contacted.
NO 21 DREDGER - Permit Exemption Policy
The purpose of the permit exemptions is to allow works that do not impact on the heritage significance of the object to occur without the need for a permit. Works other than those mentioned in the permit exemptions may be possible but will require either the written approval of the Executive Director or permit approval.
Minor works and emergency works are adequately covered by the standard permit exemptions. Exemptions for more substantial works such as stabilization or moving of the digger are not appropriate because the assessment of the current condition of the object and of how such works might be done are complex matters and existing information is limited.
Permit exemptions will only be granted where the incorporated private owners with responsibility for the registered heritage object or collection has developed a Conservation Management Policy [CMP] for the object, and that CMP has been endorsed by the Executive Director. Once an endorsed CMP has been implemented, the object may be subject to a review to enable a class of standard, or specific, permit exemptions to be granted.