National Heritage List inscription date 11 February 2018
The area was previously included in the National Heritage List using the emergency listing provisions of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999 on 13 February 2017. The area was reviewed further under these provisions leading to a decision to keep the place with some alterations to its boundary and heritage values.
Melbourne's Domain Parkland and Memorial Precinct is an iconic part of Melbourne. The place as a whole is a parkland landscape developed and shaped by its historic and on-going function as a rare government domain. The Kings Domain Resting Place within the parklands is also of particular significance because of its association with Australia’s national story of the repatriation of Indigenous people's remains.
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Melbourne's Domain Parkland and Memorial Precinct place is made up of approximately 4km of St Kilda Road from Princes Bridge to the intersection with Henry Street near St Kilda Junction. The place is located next to the Royal Botanic Gardens and includes parkland fronting the Yarra River and the eastern side of St Kilda Road including Alexandra Gardens, Queen Victoria Gardens, the Kings Domain, the historic Melbourne Observatory, the Victorian Government House and the Shrine of Remembrance.
The Domain Parkland area adjacent to St Kilda Road is a parkland landscape developed and shaped by its historic and on-going function as a rare government domain. The parkland's historic features demonstrate in particular the interests of the Victorian era, and its memorials show the on-going influence of the parkland's function as a government domain.
The Shrine of Remembrance is appreciated along St Kilda Road from many locations within the city as is the Government House tower. The visibility of these features is purposeful and present as engaging symbols - the tower as a symbol of vice-regal power and the shrine as a symbol of community grief over the devastation of war.
In 1840 the domain parklands was chosen as the site for the Victorian Government House which was once the permanent residence of Australia’s Governors’ General from 1901 – 1930 prior to the development of Canberra as Australia’s capital. Similarly the Shrine of Remembrance was built as a memorial prior to the later establishment of the Australian War Memorial in Canberra in 1941.
Kings Domain Resting Place
Located near Linlithgow Avenue opposite Janet Lady Clarke Rotunda, the Kings Domain Resting Place is nationally significant because of its association with Australia’s national repatriation story. The resting place holds 38 Victorian Aboriginal peoples’ remains.
In the 1970s and 1980s Indigenous people’s actions to recover and repatriate Aboriginal people's remains gained momentum. This helped shape legislation and influenced universities, museums and other institutions in possession of collections, to update their policies on the return of ancestral remains. As a result many notable repatriation events have taken place throughout the nation.
The Kings Domain Resting Place represents Indigenous communities asserting control to ensure the return and (re)burial of their ancestors is in accordance with their community’s cultural protocols.
Shrine of Remembrance
The Shrine of Remembrance was constructed between 1927 and 1934 in response to the loss and grief felt by Australians during and after the First World War. Today the Shrine is an important landmark and memorial to those Australians who have served in war and peacekeeping operations.
The memorial incorporates a surrounding ceremonial landscape which includes many smaller memorials and ceremonial spaces. The importance of the memorial is reflected by its location on a high point and in an area fronting St Kilda Road.
On 13 February 2017 the Minister used the emergency listing provisions of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 to include St Kilda Rd and Environs in the National Heritage List. The Minister then asked the Australian Heritage Council to undertake a full assessment of the place. The Minister was required to make a decision by 13 February 2018 to keep the place in the National Heritage List or the listing would have lapsed.
The Minister made a decision to keep the place on the List with some alterations to the values and place boundary to reflect the findings of the full assessment and comments received from the public and place managers. In particular, the values include the additional recognition of the Kings Domain Resting Place, and the boundary was reduced in size.
The place has also been given a new name to better reflect the whole place and the revised values: Melbourne's Domain Parkland and Memorial Precinct.
The National Heritage values of Melbourne's Domain Parkland and Memorial Precinct are protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Any new proposal that may have a significant impact on the National Heritage values of this area will need to be referred to the Commonwealth for assessment and approval. National Heritage listing, either emergency or permanent, does not override previous Commonwealth approvals.
In 2015, the Victorian Government wrote to the Commonwealth seeking approval for the Melbourne Metro development. A delegate for the then Minister for the Environment decided in September 2015, as this site was not National heritage listed, that it would not be a controlled action under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 allowing the project to proceed without the need for an approval.
The decision to enter Melbourne's Domain Parkland and Memorial Precinct in the National Heritage List permanently cannot revoke this decision. For further information please see the Department of Environment and Energy's factsheet below titled – Policy Statement – Listing Events under the EPBC Act.
- Australian Heritage Database record
- Melbourne's Domain Parkland and Memorial Precinct - boundary map (PDF - 4 MB)
- Gazettal notice
- Melbourne's Domain Parkland & Memorial Precinct earns permanent place on National Heritage List - 11 February 2018
- EPBC Act Policy Statement - Listing events under the EPBC Act