Heritage push for Vegemite factory and West Gate Bridge

Rachel Eddie (The Age)

The West Gate Bridge, a former government aircraft plant and the Vegemite factory could receive heritage protections after a review of Fishermans Bend in central Melbourne.

An independent expert reviewed the precinct, which is part of an urban renewal project, for the City of Melbourne and recommended protections for five sites.

The factory on Vegemite Way in Port Melbourne was among three sites recommended for local protection, while two other sites could be added to the state register if councillors support the recommendations at a meeting on Tuesday.

Deputy lord mayor Nicholas Reece said the West Gate Bridge, which opened in 1978, had historic, social and technical state significance.

“The West Gate Bridge was the site of an industrial accident that killed 35 workers more than 50 years ago and led to lasting workplace reforms,” Cr Reece said. “The bridge also opened up our city to the west.”

The former aircraft factory, which is now owned by Boeing Aerostructures Australia, was one of two aircraft assembly plants in Australia during World War II. The other plant, in Sydney, is on the NSW heritage register.

An industrial shed on the Yarra River and an electricity substation were also recommended for local heritage protection.

Councillor Rohan Leppert, who leads the heritage portfolio, said the Vegemite factory was an example of post-war food manufacturing and should be protected.


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