Case studies

These 10 case studies illustrate the complex, site-specific nature of climate change exposure and risk to heritage places across Victoria.

They cover a broad range of heritage place and object types and explore:

  • different climate change hazards and impacts
  • different types of climate change vulnerabilities
  • different ways owners/managers are attempting to address these challenges.

We hope they will provide connections and inspiration.

The Heritage Council of Victoria thanks Dr Kim Roberts and Chairim Byun from GML Heritage who researched and authored the 10 case studies. The Heritage Council would also like to thank the Anglican Parish of Warrnambool, Charter Hall, Forest, Fire and Regions (Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action), Heritage Victoria (Department of Transport and Planning), the National Trust (Victoria), Parks Victoria, the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne for providing information and images for use in each case study.

The Amazon

A shipwreck on the Gippsland coast
The Amazon wreck lies on a dynamic coast, which has experienced a substantial loss of beach and dune sand in recent years. More frequent and intense storms and storm surges are expected to have a significant impact at the site.

Dow’s Pharmacy

A 19th century brick pharmacy in north-eastern Victoria with a pharmaceutical collection
Dow’s Pharmacy is an aging brick building with a corrugated iron roof in an inland regional town. Climate change will speed up the rate of decay of its external fabric and pharmaceutical collection.

Great Ocean Road

A 242 kilometre road along Victoria’s western coastline
The Great Ocean Road is a lengthy piece of World War I infrastructure in a highly exposed and volatile environment. It is extremely vulnerable to sea-level rise, storm surge, coastal erosion, landslips and bushfire. The risks to its heritage values are complicated by increasing tourist visitation and issues of public safety.

ICI House

A postwar high-rise office building with a glass curtain wall
ICI House’s elevated CBD position exposes it to increasing temperatures from heat radiated from buildings, roads and footpaths. Its significant glass curtain wall is also vulnerable to more frequent and intense storms caused by climate change.

Mooramong Homestead

A 19th century farm complex in western Victoria with historical garden and internal collection
The farm complex is vulnerable to more frequent droughts, grassfires and heatwaves. The collection is also vulnerable to mould and rising damp from higher internal humidity caused by more intense seasonal rainfall and storms.

Mount Buffalo Chalet

An early 20th century timber hotel in the Alpine region
Mount Buffalo Chalet is an isolated timber building surrounded by a garden in a native forest. It is extremely vulnerable to bushfire as well as structural damage caused by storms and tree falls.

Point Cook Homestead and Stables

A 19th century bluestone and timber pastoralist complex in a low-lying coastal area
Point Cook Homestead is in a low-lying coastal area predicted to be inundated by storm surges and flooding within the next 50 years. Surrounded by native grassland, it is also vulnerable to grassfires resulting from higher summer temperatures.

Rippon Lea House and Garden

A 19th century brick and timber suburban property with a large historical garden
Rippon Lea is an urban property with an extensive plant collection. It is particularly vulnerable to storm damage and changing water availability and quality.

Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne

A historical botanical garden with some of Victoria’s oldest cultivated and commemorative trees
As a city botanical garden with an extensive living plant collection, the Gardens is particularly vulnerable to higher temperatures. It is also vulnerable to more frequent and severe droughts, and changes in rainfall patterns. This exposes it to the consequent risk of new pests and diseases of plants.

Warrnambool Christ Church

A coastal 19th century limestone masonry church
The church’s exposed location within a coastal town makes it vulnerable to more intense and frequent storms. Increased airborne salinity, already a major challenge for its soft limestone blocks and lime mortars, will compound existing conservation issues.