Reprieve for building

THE old Fulham Post Office may not be demolished after all, according to VicRoads.

VicRoads has confirmed to the Gippsland Times that while still in early discussions, the historic building could be salvaged and relocated, as a direct result of community feedback.

VicRoads south-eastern projects director, Charlie Broadhurst, said while the post office needed to be moved from its current site for road safety, sight distance and amenity issues, management was currently considering options to see if the building could be saved.

“The demolition is currently on hold while we investigate options other than demolition, and discussion will continue with Wellington Shire Council as part of this,” he said.

“The site has been secured in the interim.”

Wellington Shire is working with VicRoads to supply information about the planning processes involved.

In mid-January, VicRoads’ announcement that the old Fulham post office, on the corner of the Princes Highway and Sale-Heyfield Rd intersection, would be demolished to become road reserve and pastoral grazing land in early February, sparked public outcry.

Don Macreadie of Cowwarr said the VicRoads’ consultant’s historical report about the building contained “a number of errors”.

“To conclude that it was built in 1896, because of a brand on a couple of sheets of roofing iron is wrong, because according to the Gippsland Times of October 5, 1872, John McElligott was advertising his Junction Hotel,” Mr Macreadie said.

“They quoted from my book and even spelt my name wrong.”

Linda Barraclough, Traralgon, said the building was identified in April 2002 during the Stage 1 Heritage Study of the Wellington Shire as a high priority for further assessment for protection.

“It is unfortunate that this work, and that on more than 500 sites that were also high priority, has not yet been carried out,” Ms Barraclough said.

“As such its history, which can easily be obtained in a couple of hours by searching the Gippsland Times online, would suggest it deserved a little more respect from VicRoads.

“It would have also been easier to see it go if we knew that VicRoads had made attempts to make it available for removal, in the hope that it could have been preserved.

“And I really hope they did not pay their consultant too much for providing its history.”