Last-ditch Uiver bid

Heritage consultant Nicole Fransen says the Uiver is in its rightful place. Picture: PETER MERKESTEYN
Heritage consultant Nicole Fransen says the Uiver is in its rightful place. Picture: PETER MERKESTEYN

AN opponent to the latest attempt to sell the Uiver memorial plane has tried to block the sale on heritage grounds.

Lavington-based heritage consultant Nicole Fransen has applied to Albury Council for an interim heritage order to delay the plane’s sale.

In a letter of support, dated March 30, the National Trust “urges Albury Council to not proceed with the disposal of the Uiver Memorial”.

“It is not clear why Albury Council has decided to sell the aircraft now,” Ms Fransen said.

“I don’t know their reasons, there are a number of possible factors, but clearly there is a lack of understanding of the heritage issues and how this significant monument should be managed.”

The council’s acting general manager Michael Keys said the decision to sell the plane dated back to 2008.

“We have received four expressions of interest,” he said.

“We have been in contact with the NSW Heritage branch and an interim heritage order is not appropriate.

“When we consider the expressions of interest we will give consideration to any requests from the heritage branch.

“They also support the process council has gone through.”

Ms Fransen is also director of the Camden Aviation Museum and held informal talks with council representatives about relocating the collection to Albury and incorporating the Uiver.

But she said her involvement in the heritage order bid was not related to the aviation museum’s future.

“There is no hidden agenda here and we just want to reinstate it is a monument,” she said.

“The key elements of retain, restore and display is what we are trying to achieve.”

Ms Fransen said she had community support for her plans but would not release details of other parties involved.

“If the aircraft leaves Albury it loses that local significance,” she said.

“The event is recognised, but this is an actual monument that is being listed.”

Ms Fransen said she offered to nominate the Uiver for heritage listing through council’s online survey about the plane’s future early last year, but got no response.

“Everyone concerned with the Uiver issue had assumed that there would be some form of formal consultation with all those who had offered their support locally before council made a final decision,” she said.

“We were all caught by surprise with the call for outside expressions of interest to find a buyer.”