Statement of Significance
Station Pier, including the main pier, the west Wing Pier, the low-level timber landing structure to the immediate south of the East Kiosk, the Inner and Outer Terminal buildings, West and East Kiosk buildings, Gatehouse and adjoining lengths of palisade fence, Stothert and Pitt portal crane, East Railway Office and canopy roof. The additions to the East Kiosk building from the 1990s onwards, and the other late-twentieth and twenty first century structures and features on the site are not significant.How is it significant?
Station Pier is of historical and architectural significance to the State of Victoria. It satisfies the following criteria for inclusion in the Victorian Heritage Register:
Importance to the course, or pattern, or Victoria's cultural history.
Importance in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a class of cultural places and objects.Why is it significant?
Station Pier is significant at the State level for the following reasons:
Station Pier is historically significant for its ability to reflect important phases in Victoria's development. It was the place of arrival and departure in Victoria for gold-seekers, immigrants, refugees and tourists between the 1850s and 1970s. They included the many service men and women who left Australia for the Boer War, World War I and World War II, and the European refugees and immigrants who arrived in Victoria following World War II and under the Australian Government's assisted migration program. The West Wing Pier is associated with excursion vessels which carried tourists and residents between bayside destinations. The Stothert and Pitt portal crane on this Pier demonstrates the historical process of mechanised cargo-handling practices prior to the widespread adoption of shipping containers. Station Pier is associated with the national waterfront strikes of 1928 as one of the sites of violent conflicts between unionised wharf labourers and armed police. It allows the clear association with these uses and processes to be understood better than most other places in Victoria with a similar association. [Criterion A]
Station Pier is of significance as a notable example of a shipping terminal in Victoria. Its extant wharf structure and collection of terminal buildings, elements and features demonstrate passenger and cargo-handling practices from the 1920s to the 1970s when international and domestic travel was commonly undertaken by ocean-going ships. The West Wing Pier is a notable example of a tapered and angled pier designed to allow the rapid manoeuvring of Port Phillip Bay excursion vessels. [Criterion D]
STATION PIER - History
Since 1854 there has been a maritime freight and passenger terminal on the site of Station Pier. The Sandridge Railway Pier and the Port Melbourne railway line were opened by the Melbourne and Hobson's Bay Railway Company in 1854 and played an important role in the early development of Victoria by conducting services for inward and outward-bound freight and passengers. In late 1899, contingents of Victorian and Tasmanian servicemen and horses serving in the Boer War in South Africa boarded ships at Railway Pier. It was also an embarkation point for troops, horses and supplies during World War I. Between 1922 and 1930, Station Pier was built across the top of Railway Pier with much of the piling and foundation materials of the earlier pier remaining in place. Until 1939 Station Pier's development was informed by its use as Melbourne's main terminal for ocean liners, and for Port Phillip Bay excursion passenger steamer vessels at its east and west Wing Piers, of which now only the west Wing Pier remains. Like many ports around Australia, Station Pier was a site of violent conflict between unionised wharf labourers and armed police in 1928 during the national waterfront strike. Following this, a series of mobile wharf cranes were installed to more efficiently unload cargo from berthed ships. During World War II, Station Pier again became a major embarkation and disembarkation point for troops. It was also the arrival point for ships that brought refugees and immigrants to Australia from Europe in the decades following World War II. In order to accommodate heavier traffic, the Pier's brush box timber decking was replaced by reinforced concrete slabs between 1949 and 1962. A splay-ended addition to the southern end of the Pier was constructed in 1954. The terminal buildings were refurbished in 1956 for visitors to the Olympic Games and again in the 1960s to accommodate the influx of passengers arriving under the Australian Government's assisted migration program. Station Pier continues to be used by cruise ships and ocean liners and is the Melbourne terminal for the Spirit of Tasmania passenger and car ferry service.
STATION PIER - Assessment Against Criteria
Station Pier is historically significant for its ability to reflect important phases in Victoria's development. It was the place of arrival and departure in Victoria for gold-seekers, immigrants, refugees and tourists between the 1850s and 1970s. They included the many service men and women who left Australia for the Boer War, World War I and World War II, and the European refugees and immigrants who arrived in Victoria following World War II and under the Australian Government's assisted migration program. The West Wing Pier is associated with excursion vessels which carried tourists and residents between bayside destinations. The Stothert and Pitt portal crane on this Pier demonstrates the historical process of mechanised cargo-handling practices prior to the widespread adoption of shipping containers. Station Pier is associated with the national waterfront strikes of 1928 as one of the sites of violent conflicts between unionised wharf labourers and armed police. It allows the clear association with these uses and processes to be understood better than most other places in Victoria with a similar association. [
Station Pier is of significance as a notable example of a shipping terminal in Victoria. Its extant wharf structure and collection of terminal buildings, elements and features demonstrate passenger and cargo-handling practices from the 1920s to the 1970s when international and domestic travel was commonly undertaken by ocean-going ships. The West Wing Pier is a notable example of a tapered and angled pier designed to allow the rapid manoeuvring of Port Phillip Bay excursion vessels. [
STATION PIER - Permit ExemptionsGeneral Exemptions:General exemptions apply to all places and objects included in the Victorian Heritage Register (VHR). General exemptions have been designed to allow everyday activities, maintenance and changes to your property, which don’t harm its cultural heritage significance, to proceed without the need to obtain approvals under the Heritage Act 2017.Specific exemptions may also apply to your registered place or object. If applicable, these are listed below. Specific exemptions are tailored to the conservation and management needs of an individual registered place or object and set out works and activities that are exempt from the requirements of a permit. Specific exemptions prevail if they conflict with general exemptions. Find out more about heritage permit exemptions here.Specific Exemptions:
Any works that may affect historical archaeological features, deposits or artefacts at the place (particularly beneath the water or seabed) is likely to require a permit, permit exemption or consent. Advice should be sought from the Archaeology Team at Heritage Victoria.
Cultural heritage significance
Overview of significance
The cultural heritage significance of Station Pier lies in the physical fabric of the place, particularly the elements of the Pier structure itself, its Terminal buildings and outbuildings, and the Stothert and Pitt portal crane. Other buildings and features at the place that have been constructed in separate stages during the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries are of no cultural heritage significance.
a) Buildings and features listed here are of primary cultural heritage significance in the context of the place. These are indicated in red on the Permit Policy and Exemptions Diagram. A permit is required for most works or alterations. See Permit Exemptions section for proposed specific permit exempt activities:
. Pier deck and its substructure of timber piles and crossheads, as constructed from 1922 to 1928.
. Low-level timber landing structure abutting the Pier's eastern edge to the immediate south of the East Kiosk.
. West Wing Pier.
. West Kiosk.
. Portion of the East Kiosk constructed in 1927.
. Gatehouse and its palisade fence.
. Inner and Outer Passenger Terminal buildings 1927-28 (and 1950s/60s alterations and extensions).
. Stothert and Pitt portal crane on the West Wing Pier.
b) Buildings and features that are listed here are deemed to have contributory cultural heritage significance to the place. They are shown in blue diagonal stripes on the diagram. A permit is required for most works or alterations. See Proposed Permit Exemptions section for specific permit exempt activities.East Railway Office (Boat-Train Shelter) and its canopy roof. Upper-level steel-framed platform area at the north end of the Outer Terminal building. Baggage Room and elevated platform at the south end of the Outer Terminal building.
c) The following buildings and features are of no cultural heritage significance in the context of the place. Although of high-level intactness and integrity, their fabric is not notable. These buildings are shown in yellow diagonal stripes on the diagram. Proposed specific permit exemptions applying to fabric of no cultural heritage significance are provided for:Canopy roof and bus shelter area to the west of the East Railway Office. Steel-framed membrane roof at the north-east corner of the Outer Terminal building. Late-twentieth and the twenty-first century additions to the East Kiosk building.
Late-twentieth and twenty-first century structures and features on the site.
PERMIT EXEMPTIONS (under section 49(3) of the Heritage Act)
It should be noted that Permit Exemptions can be granted at the time of registration (under s.49(3) of the Heritage Act 2017). Permit Exemptions can also be applied for and granted after registration (under s.92 of the Heritage Act 2017).
General Condition 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 Condition 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.
General Condition 3
All works should ideally be informed by Conservation Management Plans prepared for the place. The Executive Director is not bound by any Conservation Management Plan, and permits still must be obtained for works suggested in any Conservation Management Plan.
General Condition 4
Nothing in this determination prevents the Heritage Council from amending or rescinding all or any of the permit exemptions.
General Condition 5
Nothing in this determination exempts owners or their agents from the responsibility to seek relevant planning or building permits from the relevant responsible authority, where applicable.
Specific Permit Exemptions
Fabric of Primary and Contributory Significance
. The maintenance of heritage fabric to retain its conditions or operation without the removal of or damage to existing fabric or the introduction of significant amounts of new materials.
. General maintenance including the removal of broken glass, the temporary shuttering of windows and covering of holes as long as this work is reversible and does not affect the cultural heritage significance.
. Minor repairs and maintenance to roads, path surfaces, steps, kerbs and gutters, like for like.
. Replacement of existing services such as cabling, plumbing, wiring and fire services that uses existing routes, conduits or voids, and does not involve damage to or the removal of significant fabric.
. Erecting, repairing and maintaining signage (directional signage, road signs, speed signs). Signage must be located and be of a suitable size so as not to obscure or damage heritage fabric, and must be able to be later removed without causing damage to the place. The development of signage must be consistent in the use of format, text, logos, themes and other display materials.
. Any new materials used for repair must not exacerbate the decay of existing fabric due to chemical incompatibility, obscure existing fabric or limit access to existing fabric for future maintenance. Repair must maximise protection and retention of fabric and include the conservation of existing details or elements.
Fire Suppression Duties
. Fire suppression and fire fighting duties provided the works do not adversely affect heritage fabric.
Weed and vermin control
. Weed and vermin control activities provided the works do not adversely affect heritage fabric.
Public Safety and Security
Public safety and security activities provided the works do not adversely affect heritage fabric including:
. The erection of temporary security fencing, scaffolding, hoardings or surveillance systems to prevent unauthorised access or secure public safety.
. 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. All works, including urgent or emergency site works are to be undertaken by an appropriately qualified specialist such as a structural engineer, or other heritage professional. The Executive Director must be advised on any works within seven days.
Buildings and structures
Works that include the alteration or removal of nineteenth/early-twentieth century building fabric or equipment require a permit. The following works do not require a permit provided that they are carried out in a manner which does not not have a detrimental effect on the heritage fabric of the place.
Exteriors generally (excluding Inner and Outer Terminals, Gatehouse, and deck-level Kiosks)
. Minor patching, repairs and maintenance which replace like with like.
. Repair or removal of non-original items such as air conditioners, pipe work, ducting, wiring, antennae and aerials, hot water services, taps and the like.
. Installation or repair of damp-proofing by either injection method or grouted pocket method.
. Painting of previously painted surfaces in the same colour scheme provided that preparation or painting does not remove evidence of the original paint or decorative schemes or signage.
. The repair (such as refixing and patching) or the replacement of missing, damaged or deteriorated fabric that is beyond further maintenance, which matches the existing fabric in appearance, material and method of affixing, and does not involve damage to or the removal of significant fabric. NOTE: This exemption is not intended to allow for the cumulative replacement of large amounts of the fabric of an item. A permit will be required if the replacement of large amounts of fabric is necessary. If there is uncertainty about the requirement for a permit, advice should be sought from Heritage Victoria.
. Concreting of the pier deck with standard approach to deck work provided that any remaining original features such as tracks, switching points, bollards, and other deck features are retained.
. Installation of standard picket fence type (off white powder coated metal picket) at upper tier of deck.
. Removal of all chain wire fencing.
. Installation of all plumbing, sewage, electrical, water, ducted services below the deck level and provision of access hatches to below deck and all below deck access ladders, platforms gates, grilles and the like.
. Like for like replacement (including materials and design) of substructure elements such as cross head and bracing timbers.
. Replacement of timber piles with timber piles or the collaring of existing piles. NOTE: If five or more adjacent piles are to be removed or replaced near the outer edge of the pier. In this case, archaeological monitoring of the seabed surface will be required.
Exterior of Inner and Outer Terminals, Gatehouse, and deck-level Kiosks
. Repainting of exteriors in existing colours or colour schemes outlined in the conservation management plan.
. Repair of walls, replacement of glazing, and repair of ceilings providing that the new work matches the existing work in material type finish and detail.
. Broad scale replacement of light fixtures in a standard type agreed to with Heritage Victoria.
Interiors generally (excluding Gatehouse, inner and outer Teminals, Wing Pier Kiosks, deck level pavilions and storage booths in the undercrofts of the Terminal buildings)
Works that include the alteration or removal of early to mid-twentieth century building fabric or equipment require a permit. The following works do not require a permit provided that they are carried out in a manner which does not not have a detrimental effect on the heritage fabric of the place:
. Painting of previously painted walls and ceilings provided that preparation or painting does not remove evidence of the original paint or decorative schemes or signage.
. Removal of paint from originally unpainted or oiled surfaces including joinery, doors, architraves and skirtings by non-abrasive methods.
. Installation, removal or replacement of carpets and/or flexible floor coverings, window dressings, and devices for hanging wall mounted artworks.
. Refurbishment of bathrooms, toilets and kitchens including removal, installation or replacement of sanitary fixtures and associated piping, mirrors, wall and floor coverings, kitchen benches and fixtures including sinks, stoves, ovens, refrigerators, dishwashers and associated plumbing and wiring, provided that the work is done in a manner not detrimental to the cultural heritage significance of the place.
. Installation, removal or replacement of ducted, hydronic or concealed radiant type heating provided that the installation does not damage existing skirtings and architraves, and provided that the central plant is concealed, and that the work is done in a manner not detrimental to the cultural heritage significance of the place.
. Installation of plant within the roof space, providing that it does not impact on the external appearance of the building or involve structural changes.
. Installation, removal or replacement of electrical wiring provided that all new wiring is fully concealed and any original light switches, pull cords, push buttons or power outlets are retained in-situ.
. Installation, removal or replacement of bulk insulation in the roof space.
. Installation, removal or replacement of smoke detectors.
Interior of Gatehouse, Inner Terminal and Outer Terminal, Wing Pier Kiosks and Deck Level Pavilions and storage booths in the undercrofts of the Terminal buildings
. Repainting of previously painted surfaces provided that preparation or painting does not remove evidence of the original paint or decorative schemes or signage and that varnished surfaces on walls, wind locks and doors remain varnished.
. Rewiring of all fittings, installation of new general power outlets (GPOs), lights etc in the interior, installation of data and telephone cabling.
. Re-asphalting of the asphalt floors and decks.
. Rewiring, cable laying, new outlets, fixtures, GPOs and the like, installation of data and telephone cabling provided that all services are hidden.
. No works should remove original materials e.g. ceilings, walling.
Fabric of No Significance (all other buildings and features)
. Repairs and maintenance.
. Demolition and removal of buildings and elements, subject to a permit being issued for the management of fabric of primary significance where it intersects with that of later additions.
. Alteration of buildings, within the existing footprints and envelopes of those buildings.
. All works.
STATION PIER - Permit Exemption Policy
The purpose of the Permit Policy is to assist when considering or making decisions regarding works to a registered place. It is recommended that any proposed works be discussed with an officer of Heritage Victoria prior to making a permit application. Discussing proposed works will assist in answering questions the owner may have and aid any decisions regarding works to the place.
The extent of registration of Station Pier in the Victorian Heritage Register affects the whole place shown on Diagram 985 including the land, all buildings (exteriors and interiors), roads, trees, landscape elements and other features. Under the Heritage Act 2017 a person must not remove or demolish, damage or despoil, develop or alter or excavate, relocate or disturb the position of any part of a registered place or object without approval. It is acknowledged, however, that alterations and other works may be required to keep places and objects in good repair and adapt them for use into the future.
If a person wishes to undertake works or activities in relation to a registered place or registered object, they must apply to the Executive Director, Heritage Victoria for a permit. The purpose of a permit is to enable appropriate change to a place and to effectively manage adverse impacts on the cultural heritage significance of a place as a consequence of change. If an owner is uncertain whether a heritage permit is required, it is recommended that Heritage Victoria be contacted.
Permits are required for anything which alters the place or object, unless a permit exemption is granted. Permit exemptions usually cover routine maintenance and upkeep issues faced by owners as well as minor works or works to the elements of the place or object that are not significant. They may include appropriate works that are specified in a conservation management plan. Permit exemptions can be granted at the time of registration (under s.49(3) of the Heritage Act) or after registration (under s.92) of the Heritage Act). It should be noted that the addition of new buildings to the registered place, as well as alterations to the interior and exterior of existing buildings requires a permit, unless a specific permit exemption is granted.
Conservation management plans
It is recommended that the Conservation Management Plan prepared by Heritage Alliance in 2002 is updated to guide the management of the place in a manner which respects its cultural heritage significance.
Aboriginal cultural heritage
If works are proposed which have the potential to disturb or have an impact on Aboriginal cultural heritage it is necessary to contact Aboriginal Victoria to ascertain any requirements under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006. If any Aboriginal cultural heritage is discovered or exposed at any time it is necessary to immediately contact Aboriginal Victoria to ascertain requirements under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006.
Please be aware that approval from other authorities (such as local government) may be required to undertake works.
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