Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) (17:58:40):
My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Planning. There is a 91-year-old signal box near Coburg train station—it is on Munro Street—and it is set to be demolished to make way for sky rail. It was built in 1928; in fact it replaced an earlier box that was built there in 1892—127 years ago.
The Level Crossing Removal Project team has applied to Heritage Victoria to demolish the box, which has an interim protection order, and claims that building around the box would set the project back up to $10 million—a figure I just do not buy. It is overinflated.
For the record, I support the level crossing removals and even the sky rail projects in my electorate of Northern Metro, and I recently met with the team doing the planning for the Upfield line.
I have also met with residents concerned about what the end result would be. I was told directly by the level crossing removals team that community groups would have an opportunity for further input before final plans were released. So I was pretty disappointed and surprised to see the flashy videos online and design drawings in the Age.
It does not seem that community groups were further consulted, which is absolutely unacceptable. Now, a century-old railway signal box may not seem like paradise to most people, and we can pave over it and put up a parking lot, but remember, ‘Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone’.
The action I seek is for the minister to review the heritage implications of allowing the demolition of the Munro Street signal box, to meet with community groups lobbying for more input along the Upfield line and to find a way to keep this valuable part of Coburg’s rich history.