This is it! What we’ve argued for over a year. Email councillors Now!

MCC have released their Agenda for Dec 2 meeting. Item 6.4 contains a comprehensive heritage report and strong  recommendations from planning officers. It is time for you to write your own emails. It is time for you to share your views on this development. For the past year we have provided templates and standard objections. We know as they’ve come up we’ve said they’re our most important, well this one tops the importance of all the previous ones! This one needs to come for your heart and ensure councillors understand the significance of this live entertainment venue to the people of Melbourne.

There were plenty of emails sent last week in outrage. Council were bombarded. Time do it again. There doesn’t need to be any outrage on this one. This simply requires you to use the facts. It is best to focus on how the demolition of the Palace will impact on you personally. The technical information is all included in the officers’ heritage report. Your job, as a person who uses or admires the Palace Theatre is to give the Council an understanding of how the public feel about the matter. Talk about the aspects of the building that you like, that make it stand out above others, talk about your interests in the history of the building. Talk about how you may have a piece of your own history indebted to the venue, and how you would like to be able to share that with friends and loved ones in the future. You get the idea.

If you choose to email council, please do not abuse, make allegations or anything to the contrary. This will not assist our cause in any way. This is an incredibly contentious battle we have fought for a long time and by hurling abuse at Councillors there is absolutely nothing to be gained.

Find the heritage report and recommendations here

Future Melbourne Committee Meeting Agenda Dec 2, 2014

Councillor contact details here:

Melbourne City Councillors and their contact information

#savethepalace #itsnotoveryet #palacetheatre #culture #melbourne

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Important information regarding Friday night at the #Palacetheatre #savethepalace #itsnotoveryet

Following the closure of the Palace Theatre, the Save The Palace Committee, together with Ezekiel Ox and our supporters, gathered on Friday evenings for 12 continuous weeks outside the building. We came together peacefully and without incident. We believed that whilst they had shut us out of the venue, they would never take away the music.

With the unethical removal of interior fittings last week a snap rally was put together, unfortunately this time with unwanted and unnecessary incident. The rally on Sunday was thrown (amongst other reasons) for us to come together again and reclaim OUR space, OUR theatre from the negativity and circumstances of Thursday. It was a resounding success. Caught up in the enthusiasm and positivity we believed at the time that to start our vigils again every Friday, would be an excellent idea and mentioned it to all there. As you can appreciate however  it has been a massive week for the Save The Palace crew with never-ending phone calls, lobbying, facilitation, and foraging through 7 tonnes of skip.  The organisation around a vigil takes a lot of effort.  Effort we believe is best focused at this time on the behind the scenes work that will have the potential to realise our final goal. We hope you can appreciate and understand this decision as it has not been made lightly and we thank all those who planned to come this Friday.

While there have been some comments that a group of people standing around outside the theatre is not what will save it, we still encourage any format that shows a visual support to the cause; be that through vigils or rallies, #savethepalace #itsnotoveryet trending on twitter, sharing of statuses on facebook, objection letters sent to council, etc. Every one of you that has participated in any way counts.

“Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead.

If you are in the city this Friday we encourage you to stop outside the venue and take a picture and share it on social media with #savethepalace #itsnotoveryet  If you aren’t in the city we also encourage you to take a picture wherever you are hashtag it and post. While there may not be a vigil as a group at the venue you can still participate in an online vigil and continue to spread the word.

Finally, we thank those people who are maintaining a constant eye on the comings and goings at the Palace Theatre both day and night. Your efforts and updates are incredibly appreciated. Anyone else willing to offer assistance to provide these volunteers with much needed relief, would be greatly appreciated. Email us with your details and availability.

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Palace Theatre skip salvage (25/11/14)

A sad day today for the the Save The Palace crew.

Together with Melbourne Heritage Action  Australian Music Museum Project and  National Trust – Victoria we trudged down to an isolated industrial yard where a single skip sat, protected from the elements by a mish-mash of tarps hurriedly thrown over to protect its contents from the elements. The skip was emptied and we started our heart-wrenching foraging for items of significance. Crushed Edwarian Baroque interior decoration and plasterwork, smashed 100 year old Art Nouveau tiles, classical Grecian cameos ripped from balconies made our job all the harder to swallow. It took hours to retrieve salvageable items with our small team and as each layer of plaster was turned over – that had been ripped inconsiderately by uncaring construction workers – our unease started to fade. There was so much more we had been expecting to find that just wasn’t there. This renewed our hope. Regardless, there is ultimately still a 100 year old theatre standing there. What was taken can be restored. The cultural history can never be ripped out and it is what we will continue to fight for.

It’s done now. The remnants of what was ripped from the Palace has gone to landfill. We have extracted as much as we could possibly carry and store. It is safe until such time that certain members of MCC realise that this theatre must be recognised and saved and we go forward with restoring it to its former glory.

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#palace #heritage #culture #savethepalace #itsnotoveryet #Melbourne #music #palacetheatre

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Rally Flyer – help required (22/11/14)

Literally nothing to do today? Plenty to do but you really want to get involved and do your bit to help Save The Palace? Too easy. Print some of the attached flyers and get handing them out, sticking them on walls, windows in shops. Your challenge is simple should you choose to accept it. You have 24 hours to complete. And…. go!

Rally Flyer single page

Rally Flyer x4

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Developer Jinshan releases statement (22/11/14)

Following the unlawful removal of interior fittings from the Palace this week  the owner of the Palace tried in vain to justify their actions. They released a statement trying justify their actions throughout the course of this week? They stated they had been ‘informed’the site held little heritage value’ but subsequently disregarding and omitting that in May the Executive Director of Heritage Victoria had deemed the Palace to have significant social and historical value at a local level. The findings of Heritage Victoria are currently under review by Melbourne City Council who are in the process of investigating internal heritage protection of the site.

Originally when Police attended the site on Thursday, they were advised that that the workers were simply conducting an inspection into the safety of the sprinkler systems. Those systems won’t be so safe and of much use with all the water released that I saw pouring down Bourke Street! Why the removal and destruction of a number of internal doors were relevant to the ‘safety of the building’ is anyone’s guess.

They went on to say “The developer is undertaking works to improve site safety, which had become compromised in the period following the departure of the former the former music venue tenant,”
“The developer is undertaking works to improve site safety, which had become compromised in the period following the departure of the former the former music venue tenant,”

Why yes Jinshan, we can see the imminent threat and danger to the public that required the removal of the 100 year old staircase and heritage tiles recently restored by the venue operators. (pictured)

At time of writing, project managers, Sinclair Brooks have declined all requests for comment.

palace stairwell


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Ilegal removal of Palace interior fittings (21/11/14)

A member of the Save the Palace Committee unfortunately discovered a large skip at the rear of the Palace in Amphlett Lane early Thursday afternoon. Upon inspection, large chunks of interior plaster mouldings, smashed internal doors, a lot of rubble and a large number of 1912 tiles from a side Bourke Street stairwell, recently restored by Palace operators were discovered. Police and MCC were advised. The police attended and ‘spooked’ by them, the doors were closed up by the time MCC planning and enforcement officers attended.

Public, media and social media went wild. The outrage! The nerve! The disgrace of these developers who acted illegally with no permits and in complete disregard of a process for heritage review of these internal fittings currently in being conducted by MCC. By 5pm MCC were reviewing the requirements to requesting and immediate interim heritage protection to cease this activity. The outcome of this is still yet to be known. The controls will be imposed by the state planning department as the Victorian government are currently in caretaker mode and there are no requirements for approval from the Planning Minister.

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Bourke Hill Precinct Planning Scheme Amendment released (30/10/14)

The Planning Minister has released planning scheme amendment, C240, Bourke Hill Precinct. Whilst this document does not make any changes to the heritage protection of the Palace, its main purpose is to make the interim mandatory height controls imposed in June, 2014, permanent. In addition, the Appendices to the amendment includes some interesting information about the Palace including:

  • Details about its commercial use and occupiers from 1860 – 1970. (page 244)
  • A table of current and recommended Heritage Gradings and a recommendation for the Palace Theatre to be upgraded from a ‘D’ to a ‘B’ listing. (page 32)

You can view the Appendices here:

Appendices – Planning Scheme Amendment C240, Bourke Hill Precinct

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