The local National Trust says the recent demolition of the historic Waverley House must not happen again, following outrage over the 153-year-old building making way for the Geelong convention and exhibition centre.
The Trust say it’s a ‘tragedy’ the iconic building was recently flattened, despite previous promises from local and state governments it would be kept in.
Locals had applied for the building to be listed the state heritage register, but were told by Heritage Victoria notified that it did not reach the State Significance threshold.
Following failure of a subsequent appeal, demolition of the building started.
Local trust member Jennifer Bantow said promises were made to retain the building – but it was demolished anyway.
“We must try and make this the last time this ever happens,” she said.
“We need stronger protection of our heritage to keep the character of Geelong because it’s fast being eroded.
Ms. Bantow said incorporating the building into the design of the new centre could have retained the old structure and blended into a development that represents the past and future of the Geelong region.
“There’s nothing else (that’s) going to be on that corner, it’s just going to be eroded.
“That could have been an asset to keep to compliment the new development and we could’ve had both the old and the new together.”