- Liz Roder
Tower Hill is located 13km west of Warrnambool in Victoria’s southwest. The site is a spectacular dormant volcano, which is an important focus for tourism and protects a variety of environmental, landscape and cultural values. The Reserve provides visitors with walking tracks, picnic facilities, lookouts and a modernist Visitor Centre, which provides a unique venue for environmental and cultural interpretation.
The park is part of an Aboriginal cultural landscape and Parks Victoria respects the deep and continuing connection that Traditional Owners have to these lands and waters, and we recognise their ongoing role in caring for Country.
The whole of Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve is included on the Victorian Heritage Register and is afforded protection under the Heritage Act (2017), including the land, buildings and structures, footpaths and landscaping, and trees and gardens within that extent.
Following an extensive engagement and strategic planning phase, Parks Victoria issued the Tower Hill Activation and Linkages Plan late in 2021, which outlines the overall strategy for the reserve.
The Victorian Government has allocated $6.68 million to Parks Victoria for the planning, design and delivery of priority initiatives identified in the Activation and Linkages Plan, including heritage restoration and conservation works on the Robin Boyd Visitor Centre Building; works to protect and enhance Eastern Maar history and Aboriginal culture; refurbishment and upgrade of the amenities (toilet) block; improvements to the dance ground; and upgrades of the Lava Tongue Boardwalk and various walking tracks.
Through a collaborative design process with Parks Victoria and Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation, architecture and heritage experts from Lovell Chen Pty Ltd have developed detailed designs for the refurbishment of the Visitor Centre Building and concept designs for a reimagining of the amenities block, to create a new toilet, kiosk and educational space.
The Visitor Centre Building, completed in 1969, is an architecturally significant building designed by Robin Boyd, and it is heritage-listed. The initial program of works proposed for this building includes replacement of the bespoke Robin Boyd designed roof and minor internal conservation works.
A unique and innovative approach is being taken for the amenities block to optimise the space, enhance the visitor experience, and support the protection and celebration of Aboriginal Cultural Values in the design. Concept designs have been developed that demonstrate the design principles and intent for the upgrade, including a revitalised internal courtyard and potential expansion to provide additional seating and protection from the weather for visitors.
An exciting opportunity is available for suitably qualified contractors to work with Parks Victoria on the finalisation of designs and the delivery of capital works defined for the Robin Boyd Visitor Centre building and the amenities block, and support the delivery of a legacy project that will protect and enhance the unique and significant Heritage and Aboriginal Cultural Values at the Tower Hill Nature Reserve.
A public Design and Construction Request for Tender (single stage) will be made available on the Buying for Victoria website. Tenderers should note that the project is a Working for Victoria initiative, it will be registered with the Industry Capability Network (ICN) soon, and tenderers will be required to submit a Local Industry Development Plan (LIDP) as part of their tender submission.
Robin Boyd visitor centre building