Tuesday, 20 December 2022


Railway House, Beaconsfield

Railway House, Beaconsfield

Brad BATTIN (Berwick) (19:27): (3) Congratulations on your promotion to Deputy Speaker.

My adjournment tonight is for the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure. I should have written that down before I got up here. It is in relation to a transport infrastructure project that is going to be happening in Beaconsfield, and I would like the minister to come out and meet with the constituents out there, particularly those that are in a house which is a very old house that was built in Beaconsfield in 1888. The community out there is distraught that the government are not only going to be going forward with a project that tears up a car park that was recently funded with $15 million of federal funding and has only just started to be used post COVID – they are going to be tearing up that work and wasting that money – but are also going in and tearing down a house which is known in Beaconsfield as the ‘Railway House and Bunya Bunya Pine’.

The house was built in 1888 by James Adamson for Charles Nott. The house was known as the Kenilworth Cottage and has had various owners. In 1900 it was acquired by the railway for a stationmaster’s house, and it is now privately owned and has been sensitively restored and renovated. Ian Cole put blood, sweat and tears into that property to restore it to what it was traditionally and originally. It is an absolutely stunning home. That bunya-bunya pine was planted out the front of the Railway House and is a remnant of the Kenilworth Gardens from the 1880s. It is a rare example of this type and is now on the significant trees list.

Now, I understand progress and I understand moving forward, but we have to have sensitivities, because if you went into any of the areas within Melbourne in the inner east you would not be going through and tearing down a house that is this old. The government and councils would not give permits to tear down a house that is this old. It is the oldest house in Beaconsfield. It was one of the first properties in Beaconsfield. It has a fine history and has been restored from a property that you could almost say was going to fall down at one particular stage. I ask the minister to come down and ensure that every bit that we can do to protect this house is done. The owners of the property want to stay there. I look at the property. It is in the middle of two car parks – it is not a place I would go to look for positive real estate, two car parks around a railway station. However, because of the history that is there the location of it is absolutely stunning, and because of what they have done, we must preserve this history. I ask the minister: please come down and ensure that the sensitivity of this property is taken into consideration with any developments happening down there. I do not believe we are fixing a problem that is a massive issue through Kenilworth and Station streets, but I think it is paramount that we protect this house as a priority for the Beaconsfield community.