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Point Lonsdale Lighthouse Reserve

We're restoring this heritage area to unlock its potential as a community space.

 

Last updated: February 2020
Current status: Statutory approvals processes underway.

 

Point Lonsdale Lighthouse wide shot

We're currently developing a cultural heritage management plan with the Waddawurrung, which will be followed by other heritage and vegetation assessments.

In 2012, management responsibility for the Point Lonsdale Lighthouse Reserve was transferred from the Victorian Government to the Borough of Queenscliffe. Because the Lighthouse Reserve contains some of Victoria’s most important Aboriginal, military and natural heritage areas, Council elected to develop a plan to restore and improve accessibility in the much-loved place.

Following extensive community consultation processes, Councillors unanimously resolved to adopt Landscape Master Plan Option C for the Point Lonsdale Lighthouse Reserve. Council’s resolution took into account advice from the Point Lonsdale Lighthouse Reserve Reference Group, feedback from the Borough of Queenscliffe and wider community and input from Tract Consultants.

Council is currently working through an extensive statutory approvals process before works can begin. Protecting the rich heritage of this site means we need to undertake careful planning before works commence.

 

Draft Landscape Masterplan Details

The endorsed elements of the draft masterplan include:

  • Vegetation improvements;
  • Improved links to the Rip View carpark;
  • New pathways and signage;
  • A ship viewing area at the lighthouse;
  • An accessible boardwalk to the lighthouse;
  • Improvements to the lighthouse surrounds;
  • Improvements to the cliff-top pathway; and
  • Seating and BBQ facility options.

The Reference Group did not conclude a recommendation on some elements, including:

  • The final extent of car parking on the Lighthouse Reserve;
  • The use of buildings on the Lighthouse Reserve;
  • The location and form of a ‘village green’ and amphitheatre; and
  • The all-abilities path to the Point Lonsdale Pier.

The future of the Toc H buildings (also known as P1 huts) has been a contentious part of deliberations. For its brief, Tract was to assume removal of the buildings, while noting that the Reference Group, in its deliberations, had considered up to 10 different scenarios based on combinations of retaining or removing the buildings. The Reference Group then resolved that the final outcome would be based on one of the following six scenarios:

  1. Demolish all four existing buildings and install interpretative signs on site (estimated cost $120,000).
  2. Demolish all four existing buildings and build a new interpretative centre that includes amenities, air conditioning and displays. Approximate area of the new building 160 square metres (estimated cost $760,690).
  3. Remove asbestos from four buildings, new cladding material similar to original P1 huts (corrugated galvanised iron sheets), buildings sealed with no access to inside of building (estimated cost $164,000).
  4. Remove asbestos from four buildings, new cladding using material similar to original P1 huts, minimal fit out to allow for community use (estimated cost $554,000).
  5. Remove asbestos from four buildings, new cladding using material similar to original P1 huts, fit out of largest building (known as McDonald’s Hall) as an exhibit, three remaining buildings securely sealed with no access to inside of buildings (estimated cost $206,600).
  6. Demolish largest building, all asbestos removed from three remaining buildings, new cladding using material similar to original P1 huts, fit out of three remaining buildings for community use (estimated cost $1,010,400).

The Reference Group took the view that the Toc H buildings contribute to the significance of the site and unanimously determined that, from the above scenarios, their preferred and recommended option is number 5 (remove asbestos from four buildings, install new cladding using material similar to original P1 huts, fit out of largest building as an exhibit, the three remaining buildings to be securely sealed with no access to inside of building), and that these works be undertaken as early stage works within the project. The Reference Group also agreed that the fit out of the largest building as an exhibit could be completed during a future stage. In addition, construction of a new interpretative centre that includes amenities, air conditioning and displays (approximately 160 square metres) might be considered in the future.