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Published on : Friday, October 21, 2016
John Kelly was an Irish convict sent to Tasmania for stealing two pigs, and following his seven year sentence, he found work around Donnybrook and Kilmore. He built the Kelly family home in 1860, when Ned was five years old.
Historians have found the home is significant because its construction is similar to a traditional Irish cottage, while other elements, such as bush poles, roof detailing, shingles, guttering and a lack of eaves make it unique.
“John Kelly built this home from what he could find in the bush and it represents an extraordinary and controversial part of Victoria’s history, the story of his outlaw son, Ned,” Minister for Planning Richard Wynne said.
A Heritage Victoria audit found the property needs urgent stabilisation works as the structure is slumping, verandah posts are rotting and downpipes and guttering no longer work.
Heritage Victoria will oversee the restoration works, drawing on traditional trade skills and finishes to protect and enhance the integrity of the property.
The home will become part of a local heritage trail which has been drafted by the Victorian Planning Authority as part of a broader precinct structure plan for land north of Beveridge.
“Victoria’s history is a big drawcard for tourists and Ned Kelly’s story has become part of Australian folklore, with our support it will become a national heritage destination,” Member for Yan Yean Danielle Green said.
Consultation will begin in November for the plans, which include a heritage trail around the Kelly House Park, shops, sports fields and will be near the future Merrifield Business Park, with railway access from future stations planned for Lockerbie and Beveridge.