Melbourne’s Federation Square has officially been included in the Victorian Heritage Register, a move that protects it from large scale changes.
Melbourne’s newly heritage-listed site, which opened in 2002, joins the likes of St Patrick's Cathedral, which was built between 1858 and 1940, and Flinders Street Station, Australia's oldest train station, as important state landmarks.
The announcement comes after a year-long process following the National Trust’s nomination of Federation Square to the Victorian Heritage Register.
And follows public outcry over the proposed flagship store for tech giant Apple, ultimately rejected by Heritage authorities earlier this year.
“Federation Square belongs in the hands of Victorians,” National Trust of Australia (Victoria) chief executive Simon Ambrose said.
“And the National Trust's vision is that it thrives as our state's premier civic and cultural space.”
Ambrose says the precinct's inclusion in the Victorian Heritage Register would not prevent appropriate future change and development of the site.
“But any future changes will need to consider its architectural, social and historic values, and go through a process of public consultation,” he said.
Federation Square, designed by Melbourne firms Bates Smart and LAB architecture, and is managed by Fed Square Pty Ltd which was established by the Victorian government in 1999.
Apple's plans for its flagship store had been approved by Premier Daniel Andrews in 2017, which would have seen Federation Square’s Yarra Building demolished and replaced by a large Apple store.
Construction of Federation Square, at 2-20 Swanston Street, began in 1998 with a $450 million investment supported by government.
Since opening in 2002, the 3.8 hectare precinct has had more than 100-million visitors.