Federation Square has been added to Victoria’s heritage register after the Heritage Council deemed the space to be of cultural significance to the state.

While this doesn’t prohibit Fed Square from being modified in the future, it does mean that any plans to change the square will now have to go through the Council.

“As a direct result of the National Trust’s work to recognise what makes Federation Square our state’s premier public space, the State Government has announced a major review to inform its future,” Simon Ambrose, Chief Executive Officer of the National Trust of Australia released in a statement.

Although the Melbourne icon was built in 2002, a push to protect it was kicked into high-gear following Apple’s proposal in 2017 for a “global flagship” store to be situated smack bang in the middle of the site. It would have replaced the Yarra building and other surrounding areas.

Apple then ditched that plan earlier this year after heritage authorities denied their application to demolish the required space.

James Lesh, University of Sydney heritage researcher and key activist against Apple’s proposal, spoke to The Age about the significance of today’s decision. “An important precedent has been set: heritage can now be used to prevent the creeping privatisation of public spaces.”

This is obviously a major win for those campaigning against the idea of corporate big dogs encroaching on public spaces.

Source: The Age.