A map showing how the positioning of the Goods Shed in relation to the new AFL stadium.

Heritage listing looms for this old shed, and that spells trouble for Hobart $715m stadium plan

In short: A circa-1915 railway goods shed located at the proposed site of a new stadium has been provisionally heritage listed, the ABC understands.
A Tasmanian team being granted entry into the national AFL competition is conditional on the stadium being completed at the Macquarie Point site, with the heritage listing of the shed potentially derailing that plan.
What’s next? The Macquarie Point Development Corporation has 21 days to respond to the provisional listing before public submissions are opened.

A 108-year-old railway goods shed runs through the centre square of a proposed AFL stadium in Hobart.

And now — the ABC understands — the circa-1915 shed has received provisional heritage listing by the Tasmanian Heritage Council.

It presents a new hurdle for the Tasmanian government in its push for a 23,000-seat roofed stadium on Macquarie Point — a condition from the AFL for the state to be granted entry to the national competition.

?The 2,500sqm goods shed site “provides a hub for local, national, and international events”, promotion for the site states.(ABC News: Adam Holmes )

The Macquarie Point Development Corporation (MPDC), which owns the shed, has been given 21 days to respond before public submissions can be made.

The council will then decide whether to make the listing final.

A map showing how the positioning of the Goods Shed in relation to the new AFL stadium.

The premier says his government is “committed, clearly, to the Macquarie Point precinct plan. We’ll take interest in what the Heritage Council say”.(ABC News: Paul Yeomans)

Tasmanian architect Mat Hinds said it would be a challenge for the government to find a solution.

“The shed, it meets seven of the eight criteria for heritage listing. One of those primary considerations is its location,” he said.

“Moving the building effectively removes a significant part of its heritage significance.

“It’s lasted more than 100 years as a usable structure on that site. It’s meaningful in that place, and that’s why the listing is so compelling.”

Interior of a shed with people inside.

The goods shed is listed as being available for “a range of events, including gigs, art exhibitions, theatre performances” and food and beverage events.(Facebook: Red Square Hobart and The Goods Shed)

In the AFL’s first concept designs of the Macquarie Point stadium, the goods shed had been shifted 110 metres out of the way.

The shed was then removed altogether from the draft Macquarie Point precinct plan, released in October.


Tasmanian Premier Jeremy Rockliff said the government would consider the council’s decision.

“We’re committed, clearly, to the Macquarie Point precinct plan. We’ll take interest in what the Heritage Council say,” he said.

“We’ll wait for the final outcome and make the appropriate decisions. We’re committed to that significant investment of the stadium.”

Earlier report found location was key to heritage value

The listing has been on the cards for at least a decade.

The shed was nominated for the state heritage register in 2008, 2013 and 2014, but never reached full assessment.

A 2015 report commissioned by MPDC found it met a range of heritage criteria, due to it being the only substantial surviving structure from Tasmania’s industrial rail heritage.

It would need to be “retained in situ” – meaning that if it was relocated, it would lose its heritage values.

It also had national significance, with almost all other goods sheds of similar scale having been demolished on the mainland.

A long white building with a rusting roof sits in a large vacant block

The goods shed was nominated for the state heritage register on three other occasions, but never reached full assessment.(ABC News)

Most of Hobart’s built rail heritage was removed throughout the 20th century, but the goods shed remained, to assist with the freight industry.

It has most recently been used as an events space, but a $5 million upgrade – planned last year – never eventuated.

‘Onus will be on us’, development corporation CEO says

MPDC chief executive officer Anne Beach was asked about the potential listing during a parliamentary hearing last month.

She said they would work with the council to reach an agreed outcome.

“The Heritage Council has working guidelines that, once you have a nomination, [that] help guide how you manage that and what some options might be,” Ms Beach said.

“That could include a relocation. I think the onus will be on us to identify how we can manage those heritage values and, particularly, potentially enhance them.”

The stadium’s $715 million funding includes funds for demolition work.

chandeliers hang from the ceiling. A man is playing on stage and the lights are purple and pink.

The goods shed has recently been used for events, including during Dark Mofo in 2023.(Supplied: Dark Lab)

Government could remove heritage listing, claims Labor

The heritage listing could also become a consideration for the Tasmanian Planning Commission (TPC).

The TPC is assessing the stadium after the government and Labor voted to declare it a project of state significance.

Labor’s Shane Broad said it added to the uncertainty around the planning for the project.

“There’s no doubt that the government could potentially legislate to remove the heritage listing,” he said.

“This is all about cost and delay.”




Author: Russell White