A new report has recommended restoring sections of Glenrowan back to the way they looked in 1880, as a way to improve links to Ned Kelly heritage in the town.
Wangaratta councillors this week voted to endorse the Glenrowan Heritage Precinct Conservation and Landscape Management Plan and release it for public comment.
The plan described Glenrowan as the foremost of all Ned Kelly sites, where the bushranger was captured by police, and recommended strengthening links with the past.
“The future approach to this site should build upon its unique history and existing authenticity and seek to reinstate generally minor elements, such as plantings and fence lines, which would help re-establish the informal character,” it stated.
The future approach to this site should build upon its unique history and existing authenticity.Glenrowan Heritage Precinct plan
This would involve shortening the Glenrowan Rail Station platform to its original 1880 length and reconstructing original post and rail fencing.
Similar treatment was recommended for other areas: replanting native grasses and plants, constructing footpaths with granite sand or river gravel instead of concrete and replacing stone bridges with timber ones.
The site of the former Anne Jones’ Inn, which burnt to the ground in the final siege, was considered one of the key Kelly-related sites, but the plan warned against rebuilding the inn.
“Introduction of a memorial to those who died during the siege would additionally be an appropriate action of outcome,” it stated.
Improved signage pointing to the siege site was recommended, but not any kind of “faux heritage” tourism ventures attempting to recreate history.
“The commercial Kelly-related operations and businesses in Glenrowan should be encouraged to avoid Disneyland-style reconstructions and activations, and mock displays of Kelly and siege-related items,” the plan stated.
But it did support the opening of a Ned Kelly interpretive centre as a “keeping place for siege-related material; a facility for showing Kelly-related artworks, memorabilia and rare collections; have a research focus; and provide regional tourism information”.