Heritage at crossroads

Melton Station. (Brendan Kitchen)

Oliver Lees

A Melton South resident has voiced his concern over the initial designs released for the new Melton Station, which will see the old building knocked down to make way for a modern replacement.

On March 23 the state government revealed its initial concept for the project, which will also see four level crossings removed.

The train station will be upgraded to four platforms and more infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists to accommodate Melton’s rapidly growing population.

The casualty of this ambitious project will be the current Melton Station building, which has been central to the town’s aesthetic since it was built and relocated to Melton South in 1898.

The station has a local heritage overlay given its historical significance, but is not protected under the Victorian Heritage Register.

Brendan Kitchen has lived in the Melton area his entire life.

The 38-year-old said he would be extremely disappointed to see the monument removed.

“It’s our history, if we start destroying everything none of the young people will understand how settlement came to be here and what went on,” he said.

“Melton is very quick to put the pin on something that doesn’t work.

“That old station is the epitome of Melton.”

Melton council director of city futures Sam Romaszko said council would like to see the building maintained, while also acknowledging the need for a more robust transport network.

“The Melton South Railway Station has a local heritage overlay and given its historical value and its important role in the community of Melton South, council would like to see the building retained in some form,” Mr Romaszko said.

“There are numerous examples across Melbourne where heritage buildings have been relocated and retained during similar projects which provide a good reference point.

“Melton City Council has sought clarification from the Victorian Government on its plans for the future of the existing Melton Station building.”

However a state government spokesperson said that the expansive layout of the new design, necessitated by the need for a station with greater capacity, meant the building could not be retained.

“The level crossing removal project has released early designs for the new Melton Station, and we encourage everyone to take a look online and submit feedback, which will help shape the final designs,” they said.

“Melton Station will offer passengers with better connections to trains, buses and car parking to cater for one of the fastest growing communities in Australia.”

Feedback on the early designs can be submitted until Sunday April 21.

Visit: engage.vic.gov.au/lxrp-melton