Former Channel 10 studios in Nunawading, now home to Neighbours, will be considered for a heritage overlay by Whitehorse Council on Monday.
The site, also recognised as the original Wentworth Detention Centre exterior in Prisoner and home to Young Talent Time, is now owned by NEP Australia (formerly Global Studios). It was opened in 1964 under Reg Ansett, as the first purpose-built commercial television station in Melbourne, until TEN relocated to Como, South Yarra, in 1993.
Over the years the site has undergone many changes including parcels of land sold off, and various redevelopments both internally and externally.
Council engaged heritage consultants to assess the site but they were unable to gain access to the internal parts of the site leaving the report compromised. However the report nevertheless found the heritage significance of the site had been sufficiently demonstrated.
The consultants identified the site was the first television station in Australia to broadcast in colour in 1967 and is considered a rare surviving building of its type in Victoria. It recognised the studios have a strong link to Australian popular culture, and remain a tourist attraction.
But the Council also has those who do not wish to prevent development at the site, leading to a Facebook campaign to impress upon councillors that a heritage overlay should be approved.
Former TEN News presenter Mal Walden told TV Tonight, “History is always worth preserving in whatever form. Given that television is going through a dramatic evolution and already much has been lost, (Nine and Seven studios) I think some form of preservation is vitally important.
“I am unsure how much of Nunawading should be saved. But a serious attempt should be made.”
The current lease to FremantleMedia extends to 2019 with an option for extension to 2028.
Those with memories of ATV-0 wishing to urge council to approve a heritage overlay should email [email protected]