The Heritage Council met 16–17 May and will reconvene for a final session on Tuesday 28 May 2019. The outcome of the Hearing will not be known for another 90 days after 28 May. From what we understand, this means the outcome will not be known until the end of August 2019.
The last day to sign Artefact Church Square’s petition is this coming Monday 27 May. The petition’s sponsor enlisted from the outset, has as yet to show her hand. If the sponsor does not come forward by the end of Monday, the petition cannot be tabled in Parliament. If our petition is not tabled, then Artefact Church Square’s alternative proposal will have failed to gain financial support from the Member for Albert Park, Martin Foley.
Artefact Church Square has made every effort to raise state funding for our alternative proposal.
These efforts have been made out of a burden of responsibility towards the church, since our objection to the church’s current proposal grew from a weekly relationship tending the church’s garden through volunteer work. As we do not wish the church financial harm, we have instead offered an alternative to its current proposal that avoids both financial and heritage detriment.
Our alternative digs deep into Church Square. It gives Church Square’s foundations a proper sense of place by having discovered—and thereby recognising—Church Square’s significance as intertwined with an art history.
Our redevelopment would, therefore, restore the historic garden behind the church and adapt the former Bishop’s Residence into a museum that exhibits Church Square’s extraordinary history, that includes an arts and architecture library amongst an ecosystem of other art functions, and develops and administers a far sweeping public program in hoped-for collaboration with Christ Church.
In 1856, along with a handful of others concerned for artists’ financial plight at the beginning of Victoria, the architect of Church Square actively championed what has become, today, the ‘creative industries’. There is, perhaps, no better place to give this historical moment its due relevance other than through its recognition at home—in the first building the architect designed and built—at Church Square.
If by the end of Monday 27 May our petition remains unsponsored, then it will have become evident that the Member for Albert Park does not financially support Artefact Church Square’s alternative proposal. As it is unconscionable to persist as a straw alternative without substance, Artefact Church Square will therefore end, along with its alternative.
Artefact Church Square extends a heartfelt thanks to all who signed its petition.