Emergency ‘make safe’ orders – 2020-2021

Emergency order – dismantling the Brick Pressing Shed

October 2021

In early November 2021 Moreland Council issued a new emergency order requiring the Brick Press Shed be dismantled due to site contamination and deterioration of the building.Heritage Victoria has an interim protection order placed over the brick-making equipment inside the building. This should mean that the equipment is documented, carefully removed, safely stored off site, restored and returned to the site to provide an interpretive experience for visitors.

Given the importance of this site to the history of Brunswick and, more broadly, Victoria, we trust that this will be done with appropriate respect, care and accuracy.

The Steam Engine House (the red brick building) is to remain ‘as is’ and should not be impacted by the works. The freestanding chimney will be undergoing some further repair work.

The loss of this heritage-listed building is a tragedy for the site – and it marks a lost opportunity for future generations to experience a real-life, gritty insight into Victoria’s industrial history.

Building Appeals Board upholds order to make-safe
May 2021

The Building Appeals Board released its decision to uphold Moreland Council’s Emergency Order on the two Brickworks buildings – the Brick Press Shed and Engine House. This means that the owner of the site must now carry out the make-safe works ordered by Moreland Council. The required works include some structural propping and the removal of damaged sections of the upper level of the Brick Press Shed.

For those interested in details of the Board’s findings… The Emergency Order (of 23 November) was issued by Council to make the buildings safe so they pose no risk to life or property. The owner sought to have the order cancelled, to allow for the buildings to be completely demolished in order to make the site safe. The Building Appeals Board heard from representatives of the owner, engineers, Moreland Council and Heritage Victoria. You can find the full report here: http://www8.austlii.edu.au/…/cases/vic/VBAB//2021/27.html

The Board’s findings note that the Emergency Order works can be safely undertaken by a suitably experienced firm, and while the works will be more expensive than simply demolishing the building (as was the owners wish) it was ‘fair and appropriate’ having regard to the heritage values of the buildings and “the fact that the current state of the buildings reflects that the Applicant has failed to adequately maintain the buildings”.

Order to make-safe issued by Moreland Council
October 2020 – March 2021

On 22 October 2020, Moreland Council issued an Emergency Order for make-safe works including partial demolition works for the former Brick Pressing Shed. These works were required to commence 7 December 2020.

On 11 December 2020, the owner of the Hoffman Brickworks site lodged an appeal with the Buildings Appeals Board (BAB) challenging the Emergency Order issued by the Municipal Building Surveyor. The owner is challenging the order to ‘partially demolish’ the building, and wishes to completely demolish the building.

On 20 January 2021 a Building Appeals Board hearing took place. As at March 2021, an outcome of the hearing is yet to be announced.

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