Asbestos to be removed from historic gas building
The owners of a historic archives building that was once used as part of an old Gas Regulating House in North Melbourne are assessing their options of removing asbestos before maintenance can be undertaken.
The Public Record Office of Victoria (PROV) owns the gatehouse – a remnant of a former town gas distribution site at 60-96 Macaulay Rd, which was built in 1887, and is listed of “historical significance” on the Victorian Heritage Register.
However, while the building has been targeted by graffiti vandals in recent months, requiring regularly cleaning, the PROV noted the primary issue it had identified regarding maintenance of the building (also known as the gatehouse) was that it contained asbestos and “this must be removed before any other work can be undertaken including application of deterrent sealant”.
“Unfortunately, PROV does not have sufficient budget to undertake the asbestos removal at this time as our facilities maintenance funding is entirely committed to maintaining the archives building and ensuring it is safe and fit for purpose for archival storage,” it said.
“We are however, in the process of getting asbestos removal works quoted in the hope that we can obtain additional funding from the Victorian Government to undertake remediation works.”
The PROV said one future consideration to preventing graffiti – which was subject to funding – would be procuring services to coat the gatehouse with a specialised coating that makes the removal of graffiti a simple cleaning activity.
“This has been done to the facade of the Victorian Archives Centre on Shiel St with success,” it said.
North Melbourne resident Brendan Gleeson said without urgent works, notably to restore the roofing and guttering, “the building will continue to deteriorate and the community risks losing a valuable historic artefact”.
The Gas Regulating House formerly used by the Melbourne Gas Company’s large plant in West Melbourne as a distribution point for town and natural gas for 100 years.