Media Release - Council calls for heritage Sunshine school buildings to get protection of Victorian Heritage Register

Brimbank Council has applied for the heritage buildings on the former Sunshine Secondary School site to be included on the Victorian Heritage Register, which could protect them from demolition.

Council lodged the request with Heritage Victoria after it became aware of an advanced tender notice for demolition in relation to the former Sunshine Secondary School by the Department of Education. 

The school is located on two sites at 129 and 111 Derby Road, Sunshine, and is within two heritage overlays in the Brimbank Planning Scheme:

  • HO56 for the Sunshine Technical School at 129 Derby Road Sunshine
  • HO57 for the Sunshine Girls Technical School at 111 Derby Road Sunshine.

However the Minister for Education is not required to comply with the Planning Scheme.

The Sunshine Technical School building and the Sunshine Girls Technical School buildings are very important from a built form and cultural perspective. Both the school buildings are currently recognised to have regional significance from a historic, social and architectural perspective, including their association with the famous H.V. McKay Sunshine Harvester works.

Council has a responsibility to protect Brimbank’s heritage through legislation available to it. Landowners also have a responsibility to conserve, protect and maintain their heritage places.

Council expects these buildings to be retained and has been seeking assurances from the State Government that the heritage buildings are retained and protected.

Council has already written to the Minister for Education, the Minister for Planning, the Secretary of the Department of Education, and the CEO of the Victorian School Building Authority seeking assurances that the heritage buildings will be retained, but has received no formal response from State Government.

If Heritage Victoria support Council’s nominations, the sites will be recommended to the Heritage Council Victoria for a final decision. If the sites are listed on the VHR, this would require Department of Education to obtain a permit for demolition from Heritage Victoria.

Quotes to be attributed to Brimbank Mayor Cr Ranka Rasic:

“We need to protect the little we have left of our heritage and significant historical buildings in Brimbank.

“Council is taking every action within its power to protect these heritage buildings from demolition.

“These former Sunshine Secondary School buildings have great significance for our City and the region. They are precious symbols of the rise of technical education in the west, and also have an important association with Sunshine’s famous H.V. McKay Harvester works.

“I’m pleased to say Heritage Victoria has accepted Council’s nomination for these former Sunshine School buildings to be placed on the Victorian Heritage Register. That is a first step towards getting them on the Register and hopefully protecting them from demolition.

“I’d like to thank the Sunshine Historical and District Society for working with Council in this effort to protect the historic buildings.”