Defence considers new lease on life for historic building

By Jackson Graham

February 17, 2022

Melissa Price
Defence industry minister Melissa Price. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

The defence department is looking to breathe life into an iconic building in Melbourne’s Victoria Barracks after it sat vacant for two decades. 

Planning is underway for the historic art-deco Repatriation Outpatients Clinic on St Kilda Road to be refurbished for defence and defence-related community groups, such as veterans’ organisations.

The building, which adjoins Victoria Barracks on St Kilda Road near the CBD, was completed in 1937 and contains heritage elements of commonwealth significance.  

The government has contracted architects Lovell Chen to do a feasibility study, taking into account a planned redevelopment of the wider Victoria Barracks precinct.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the study would present options for the building’s future re-use. 

“We are seeking to balance the growing needs of defence, while noting the building’s close links to Australia’s military history and our veteran community,” Price said. 

The building is the only remaining Repatriation Commission Outpatient Clinic built for the health and wellbeing of World War I veterans. 

Defence used the site until the late 1990s but has been vacant for more than 20 years.


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