Apple spurs heritage nomination

Apple-Fed-Square-storeWorry over development of Melbourne’s Federation Square, including a controversial Apple flagship store, has prompted a fast-tracked heritage nomination.

The National Trust of Australia’s Victorian division has nominated the CBD landmark for the Victorian Heritage Register to recognise its “historical, architectural, aesthetic and social significance to the state.”

“With significant changes proposed at Federation Square, we have fast-tracked our nomination to ensure there is a co-ordinated approach which takes into account the architectural and cultural significance of this important place,” National Trust Victoria chief Simon Ambrose said.

“Additionally, the lack of transparency has been concerning, with no attempt to consult Victorians – the very people who Federation Square was built for.”

If the listing is successful and Federation Square becomes protected, future developments would require assessment and permission from Heritage Victoria.

As well as the Apple flagship, which is expected to open in late 2020, a new entrance for the Town Hall Metro Tunnel station is earmarked for the square.

A redesign for the Apple store was released last month but Mr Ambrose said at the time there was still concerns about the lack of public consultation.

The Yarra Building is to be knocked down to make way for the Apple store, with current inhabitants the Koorie Heritage Trust to be relocated within the site.

Under the plan, Apple will run free daily events to showcase local tech, design, education and art, and collaborations with the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Koori Heritage Trust and National Gallery of Victoria are also on the cards.

Premier Daniel Andrews has previously said Melbourne should embrace the store or risk it being based in Sydney.

Attempts by the Victorian Greens in parliament to revoke planning permission for the store failed, but tens of thousands of people had signed an online petition against the change.

The store was announced in December without any public consultation.

Mr Ambrose is encouraging Victorians to lobby Mr Andrews on the future of Federation Square.

Heritage Victoria will assess the nomination and provide a recommendation to the Heritage Council, which will make a final decision on the matter

Apple releases quarterly results

Meanwhile, Apple released its third quarter results overnight, finding quarterly revenue of US$53.3 billion, an increase of 17 per cent compared to its third quarter last year.

“We’re thrilled to report Apple’s best June quarter ever, and our fourth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook.

“Our Q3 results were driven by continued strong sales of iPhone, Services and Wearables, and we are very excited about the products and services in our pipeline.”

The tech giant posted net income of US$11.5 billion, and operating cash flow of US$14.5 billion, with earnings per diluted share rising by 40 per cent to US$2.34.

Additionally, Apple provided guidance for its fiscal fourth quarter, expecting between US$60 and $62 billion, with a gross margin of approximately 38 per cent, and income of US$300 million.

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