Uiver sale is back on the agenda

ALBURY Council is set to resurrect the disposal of the Uiver replica plane after baulking at an opportunity to recognise the memorial aircraft as an item of local heritage significance.

The council’s planning and development committee last night unanimously supported not pressing ahead with any formal local recognition after an independent assessment revealed the memorial aircraft has “indirect” associations with the original DC-2 Uiver’s emergency landing in Albury in 1934.

Also, the replica’s social significance was negligible as the memory of the Uiver landing was successfully kept alive in Albury for 46 years without an aircraft.

But the Uiver memorial does have state and national significance as a movable heritage item associated with air transport.

The council earlier this year again called for expressions of interest to dispose of the memorial plane after a proposal to restore the plane and house it at the Albury Airport was rejected.

Acting general manager Michael Keys warned the expressions of interest process could have to start again if the council agreed to recognise the plane’s local heritage significance.

Lynette Gurr, a senior heritage consult, told the committee last night millions of dollars would be needed to properly house the aircraft and historical items at the airport.

“You’ve got the collection in the museum now,” she said.

“Those items are protected, preserved and intrinsic to the story.

“You’ve got to spend millions to ensure you’ve got that environment out at the airport to preserve those artefacts.

“Up until 1980 the whole of the community was behind this landing and union between the Netherlands and Albury.

“It is very theatrical this plane at the airport on a stand and fills you with excitement.

“But will it reduce the understanding of that landing by taking the aircraft away?”

Cr Daryl Betteridge said the expressions of interest process would determine whether the plane stayed in Albury.

“We could put the cart before the horse here. It doesn’t quite line up at this stage,” he said.

Deputy mayor Kevin Mack agreed.

“My concern is a decision has to be made and the longer we leave it, the longer it deteriorates and becomes a product of bureaucracy,” he said.

“We either move forward with a decision on this or sit on our hands.”