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National Trust chief tries to convince Neil Mitchell why Fed Square should be heritage-listed

The National Trust says Federation Square should be heritage-listed because its history extends beyond 100 years.

Asked to convince Neil Mitchell why the square, opened in 2002, needed listing alongside some of Melbourne’s most historic buildings, trust chief Simon Ambrose pitched his case.

“Even though it’s only 16 years young, the process that was established when we started looking for a square has been going on for over 100 years, and this process was finalised in 1997,” he said.

“It’s a very significant place for all Victorians.

“We’ve nominated it because we believe it has architectural, aesthetic and social significance to all Victorians.”

And Mr Ambrose emphatically defended the divisive square’s architectural merit.

“It has been one of the most highly-acclaimed spaces in terms of architectural design,” he said. “It’s won a huge amount of awards.”

Mr Ambrose admitted he wasn’t a fan of the designs for the Apple store, but said the trust wasn’t opposed to Apple entering the square per se.

“We don’t oppose development,” he said.

“What we’re asking for a is a master plan for Federation Square, appropriate public consultation, appropriate consideration give to it architectural and social significance, and that the design for an Apple store or anything else going there, that it be part of this master plan.”

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