Construction has begun on the ANMF (Vic Branch) short-term accommodation for members in Melbourne’s CBD.
The Branch is redeveloping 240-248 Victoria Street (the old Central Club hotel), adjacent to the ANMF headquarters in Elizabeth Street. Plans for the building were first lodged with council in 2019, with the aim of providing affordable, convenient accommodation for our many regional and rural members who attend conferences and professional development in Melbourne. And while lockdowns have seen online platforms provide new ways for members to attend our events, courses and meetings, it remains important to have face-to-face options in the future.
When the eight-storey building is finished, it will house 33 serviced apartments that members will be able to book when they are attending ANMF conferences and courses at the Education Centre. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.
ANMF (Vic Branch) Secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick said ‘Online events have been so important during the pandemic, but they will never totally replace the face-to-face experience. When the pandemic is over, we really want to make our Melbourne conferences, education and training accessible to regional and rural members.
Speaking when the plans were submitted, Ms Fitzpatrick said, ‘We have great affection and respect for the iconic Central Club hotel both as a building and an old Melbourne CBD “watering hole” institution. ANMF is keen to build environmentally sustainable and contemporary accommodation that’s sympathetic to the history of the hotel and the surrounding market quarter.’
That commitment remains unchanged. As such, the development will retain and refurbish the hotel’s heritage Art Deco design. Trusted Australian company Multiplex, who also built ANMF’s Elizabeth Street HQ, is committed to working with environmentally sustainable materials – such as cross-laminated timber, a highly durable and sustainable building material – in line with ANMF (Vic Branch) principles and support for Victorian companies and jobs. In 2019, Multiplex became the first construction contractor in the world to sign the World Green Building Council’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment.
In addition to making professional development and education even more accessible for our regional and rural members, the apartments will also be available for all members – regional and metropolitan – to book at subsidised rates for a short holiday or a night in the heart of the city.
ANMF is also looking to invest in holiday accommodation in regional Victoria based on members’ responses to a survey in early 2021. Discounted quality accommodation is a popular member benefit offered by the Western Australian and South Australian branches of the ANMF and other unions such as the Police Association Victoria.