Defence Site Maribyrnong

Heritage Management Plan
EPBC Act Referral

Department of Defence


The Defence Site, Maribyrnong is located in a horseshoe bend on the south side of the Maribyrnong River in Maribyrnong, Victoria.

The site is owned and managed by the Department of Defence (Defence) and incorporates the former explosives factory, which was a major explosives and armaments manufacturer in Australia from its establishment in 1908 until its closure in 2000, as well as a range of research and other facilities.

The ‘Defence Explosive Factory, Maribyrnong’ is listed on the Commonwealth Heritage List. Under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Clwth) (EPBC Act), there are certain legislative requirements for Commonwealth agencies in regard to Commonwealth-owned properties with identified heritage values, including the preparation of a Management Plan (Schedule 7A of EPBC Act).

GML prepared an Integrated Heritage Assessment (IHA) which combined a series of characterisation studies examining the natural qualities, cultural landscapes, built environment, Indigenous and European archaeological sites, and social values of the site. The IHA provided an explanation of the heritage values of the site and recommendations addressing the management issues and obligations arising from those values under the now repealed Australian Heritage Commission Act 1975.

GML has also prepared the Heritage Management Plan (HMP) which provides guidance for the management of the Commonwealth and other heritage values of the Defence Site, Maribyrnong. It addresses the processes and consequences involved with the transfer of ownership of the Defence Site, Maribyrnong, from Commonwealth ownership and outlines processes intended to protect the heritage values of the site, including listing on the Victorian Heritage Register (VHR) and the preparation of a covenant between Defence and Purchaser.

Defence has received approval for the disposal of the Commonwealth land (former the Commonwealth explosives factory) located at Maribyrnong, Victoria (EPBC 2004/1711). The HMP was critical to this successful outcome.