Study to consider future use for historic Mortlake mill

A MORLAKE community group has commissioned a study to find out what to do with the town’s old bluestone mill building. 

The heritage-listed 160-year-old mill has sat vacant since it was renovated in the 1990s but there is a renewed push to find a use for the landmark structure. 

Mortlake Community Development Committee, which owns the mill, is hoping the study will put ideas on the table.

Secretary Kelvin Goodall said the two-storey building would need to be upgraded. 

“We’ve approached a local architect to do a brief update to see if it can be made usable for a public purpose,” Mr Goodall said. 

Early indications are that the second storey will be used minimally, without disability access, and the heritage listing would more than likely prevent an elevator being added, he said.

“It was originally built back in the 1850s as a flour mill,” Mr Goodall said. “Back then there was a lot of wheat farming in the district. It’s one of a few buildings of its type left.” 

But he warned the clock was ticking on the building unless a use was found for it. 

Heritage Victoria is also supportive of the mill’s use as a community facility. 

“They would prefer to have it used rather than have it vacant because it’s only going to deteriorate at a faster rate,” he said. “What I’d like to do is have it used for a community purpose, like a clubroom.” 

Mr Goodall said he was optimistic the committee would have a proposal early this year. 

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