Aussie stone sourced for iconic restoration project

With almost a decade of work having already been undertaken, the refurbishment of Victoria’s Parliament House in Melbourne is said to be one of the state’s most significant restoration projects.

The current works, which represent the ninth stage of the project, are focusing on the bluestone façade of the legislative assembly chamber as well as the rendered and sandstone façade of the north wing.

For this stage, Bamstone’s quarry in Port Fairy, Victoria supplied 2.8m3 of bluestone, while 8m3 of sandstone was sourced from Gosford Quarries’ Piles Creek quarry in New South Wales.

Both companies supplied material for some of the earlier stages of the project, and a Parliament of Victoria spokesperson indicated that upcoming stages would require an additional 100m3 of Gosford sandstone and 12m3 of Port Fairy bluestone.

Around 20 stonemasons have been contracted to work on the project, and it was said that each stone took up to three months to carve. As part of the project, each stone is also being catalogued to assist with the future maintenance of the building.

“We’re the first people to do a really full-on restoration to the place in quite some time,” a Parliament of Victoria feature article quoted one of the stonemasons, Joe Michienzi, as saying.

“The special thing about working here is knowing that it’s an historical building and our works will remain here for a long time to come. Our kids and their kids will be able to enjoy our work into the future.”

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