Ted Baillieu, Former Premier of Victoria

I think it’s quite clear this is not an architectural solution to Fed Square.  Certainly not a cultural solution to Fed Square.  It can only be a solution to a financial problem.

I think there’s a risk for Apple, a risk for the Government.  Because there are two brands.  There’s a very powerful brand called Apple, and everyone understands that and knows that.  And there’s a very powerful brand now called Fed Square in Victoria.  Bringing them together, I think only one can survive.  I don’t think Fed Square is going to have an easy time with Apple on top of it. I don’t think you would do this in any other public place, broad public place.  You certainly wouldn’t do it in the Botanic Gardens.  You might have somebody running a restaurant or café but turning a public place over to a commercial operator – and not even an Australian commercial operator – is bizarre.  I don’t think you’d do it with Samsung.  You wouldn’t do it with Huawei, Apple or anyone else in my view.

You only have to have a glance at what is proposed and conclude that that is pretty incongruous.  What this does in effect, is licence the removal of any of those buildings.  That would be incredibly disappointing for the people of Melbourne.

Former Premier Ted Baillieu has kindly provided a transcript of his interview on 3AW on 20 December 2017.