Demolition mission

Energy Brix Australia Corporation will apply for a demolition permit for Morwell Power Station and briquette factory from the Heritage Council despite the council adding the site to the heritage register earlier this week, EBAC remediation general manager Barry Dungey said.

“We have the owner of the site wanting to remediate the site and make it safe into the future,” he said.

“We have a private company, Coal Energy Australia, wishing to purchase the site and make a substantial investment into the local region which will bring with it approximately 80 full-time positions.

“This substantial investment will only go ahead if demolition of the power station building is allowed.”

Planning Minister Richard Wynne said the heritage listing of the site would not prevent it from being demolished and rehabilitated.

“Heritage Victoria has the powers to grant a demolition permit and routinely does so provided heritage aspects are protected,” he said.

“We would expect any demolition permits are processed quickly and simply, because we know the Latrobe Valley has been through enough and deserves every chance of reaping the benefits of new opportunities.”

Heritage Victoria recommended the site be added to the Victorian Heritage Register following an application by Moe resident Cheryl Wragg to have its heritage value assessed early last year.

A public hearing was held in Morwell in last October where Victorian Heritage Council representatives heard oral submissions into a proposal to heritage list the former Energy Brix site on Commercial Road, Morwell.

The two facilities had been slated for demolition until March, when a temporary protection order was granted following Ms Wragg’s application.

Following the heritage listing, any work to be done at the site into the future will require a permit, unless a permit exemption is granted, however, this does not preclude a permit application being lodged for demolition or redevelopment.

There is no demolition permit before the Minister at this time, however, Mr Dungey told The Express EBAC was in the process of preparing one.

If Heritage Victoria was not to grant a request for a demolition permit, the Minister for Planning said he would consider the appropriateness of his intervention.

Proponent Cheryl Wragg said she was “seeking clarification from the minister as to his intentions regarding the site”.