1. The complex is a memorial to one of Australia?s pioneerindustrialenterprises - meat-canning - which was an example of advancedtechnologyin 1868. Its establishment at Maribyrnong was followed by theformationof other meat preserving companies at Footscray, Colac,Warrnambool,Echuca and Ballarat in the meat canning boom of 1869-187?
In the 1870s the Maribyrnong works was described as "one ofthelargest factories of its kind in Australia," (Argus 26February1870, p.7) and even in the world (Argus 6 October, 1874, p.6).
2. It was the location of the first ventures of the Australianfrozenmeat export company, which developed the Victorian export tradeinfrozen meat and was, for a time in the early 1880s, the largestexporterof frozen meat in Australia.
3. It was an early example of a major Australian factory complex,builtof bluestone (rubble) it was an open plan factory, split level inthemain building with segmented arches and columns. The iron truss roofin1874 building could be original. It is an interestingcolonialadaptation of English industrial design.
4. The buildings have national significance also, as part of theHumescomplex since the First World War. Described as "thelargestmanufacturers of steel re-enforced concrete pipes inAustralia"(Sunshine Cavalcade, 1951,p.77), Humes is a concern whichhas played avery important part in the industrial development of Australia.
5. The factory and its site are an important part of the historyofMelbourne, especially industrial development in the western suburbs.
6. A number of leading Melbourne merchants, stock and station agents,aswell as pastoralists were the financiers founded the meat preserving works.
7. The company's works were originally built and designed by aMelbournecivil engineer and its machinery was originally supplied by aMelbournefirm (except for the boiler which was from Glasgow).