Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Echuca loco shed conservation plan to be created

Loco Shed Echuca members are happy to hear consultants have been appointed to create a conservation management plan for the Echuca loco shed.

REBECCA KERR July 21, 2014 3:47am

Ged Brandrick, John Webb, Peter Mitchell, Dick Phillips; (front) Lorraine Huddle, Anne Howard and Andrew Ward.


Campaspe Shire and Loco Shed Echuca met with Heritage Intelligence consultants on Friday to start work on a conservation management plan for the Echuca loco shed.

Campaspe Shire has $30,000 to develop the plan, which will take about three months and assess the site, heritage value of the building and work required to conserve the building.

Loco Shed Echuca president Dick Phillips said appointing consultants had been a lengthy process but he was confident with the decision to appoint Lorraine Huddle as lead consultant, along with architectural historian Andrew Ward and architect Gerard Brandrick.

Their work developing a plan will be the first step of many to bring life back to the old shed.

‘‘Whilst we have waited a long time and progress sometimes has seemed slow, the conservation management plan is the next step to provide a pathway for the development of the building into a permanent living asset for our community,’’ Mr Phillips said.

Ms Huddle said the site had huge potential and the team hoped to make the building functional for modern use without diminishing its heritage value.

‘‘This is a magnificent space for new development, we will look at flexible use,’’ she said.

‘‘Because it is a big space it has a lot of potential.

‘‘Apart from its extraordinary railway history, architecturally it’s a very beautiful building, and is actually in pretty good nick, and to build that today would cost an enormous amount of money so it’s a great asset that’s just sitting there waiting.’’

Mr Ward said the plan would look at the historical significance of the building and how it tied in to the area.

‘‘(There’s) nothing like it in Australia from the mid-Victorian period that compares with it,’’ he said.

‘‘Echuca’s preoccupation with the wharf and river is wonderful but it needs to be balanced by an appreciation of the importance of the railway and its history and that’s also what this study is looking at.’’

The red gum timber and artefacts in the shed will go up for auction on July 27.

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