“Preparatory works” start at 310 St Kilda Rd

“Preparatory works” start at 310 St Kilda Rd
Sean Car

The Department of Defence says it’s undertaking preparatory works ahead of a long-awaited refurbishment of the former Repatriation Clinic at Victoria Barracks at 310 St Kilda Rd.

The works come after the former Morrison Government announced that it was launching a review into the historic building in February, just a few months prior to losing government at the May 21 election.

A statement released by former Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price in February confirmed that the Morrison Government had “started planning for the renovation and ongoing use by Defence of an historic Art Deco building in the Victoria Barracks”.

The Department of Defence, the owner of the building, has engaged Melbourne architects Lovell Chen to conduct a feasibility study into the refurbishment and re-use of the former Repatriation Outpatients Clinic, which has been vacant for more than 20 years.

The feasibility study will identify opportunities for the renovation and ongoing use of the building, while taking into account a planned redevelopment of the wider Victoria Barracks precinct.

The Art Deco building was completed in 1937 and was in continuous use by Defence up to the late 1990s.

The decision to reconsider the building’s potential for ongoing Defence use follows the City of Melbourne’s advice in October 2021 to formally decline an offer to acquire the property due to the building’s poor condition, with remediation works estimated at around $21 million.

The Department of Defence said, “redevelopment and refurbishment of the site is a complex matter requiring further studies to consider the investment requirement and options for re-use in the context of the broader Victoria Barracks precinct”.

“Defence is undertaking preparatory works ahead of a planned refurbishment of the site,” a Defence spokesperson told Southbank News.

While re-development options are being considered, Defence said some remediation works were being undertaken to stop any further deterioration of the building. •

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