|Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency|
The Committee of Inquiry into Feasibility of Preserving the Banking Chamber Commercial Bank of Australia Ltd. was appointed by the Premier of Victoria, to inquire into the feasibility of preserving the Banking Chamber at the Commercial Bank of Australia, 335 Collins Street, Melbourne.
The Commercial Bank of Australia was established in 1866. The Banking Chamber was designed and built in 1891 to 1893.
The Bank acquired additional properties and in 1969 a decision was reached to redevelop the site. Godfrey and Spowers Pty Ltd., were appointed as consultants by the Bank and were instructed to prepare feasibility studies giving careful consideration to the possibility of retention of the Chamber. The consultants advised in 1970 that it was impracticable to retain the Chamber in the redevelopment.
In November, 1972 the Bank briefed their consultant team on requirements for a completely new building without incorporation of the existing Chamber.
In January, 1973 the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) announced the classification of the Chamber and moved to seek its preservation.
A petition circulated by the Trust achieved considerable support from members and the general public. Formal objections against the proposal were received by the Melbourne City Council and a number of letters appeared in the press.
The matter was raised in the Parliament and both the Bank and the Trust discussed the situation with the Premier. It was agreed to appoint an independent Committee of Inquiry.
The formation of the Committee of Inquiry was announced in October 1973 by the Premier.
Written submissions were called for by advertisements in the press.
The Committee reported in favour of preservation of the Chamber.