But the bid hinges heavily on Borough of Queenscliffe support, which is as yet forthcoming.
Resident Andrew Sutherland has lodged a formal application with the Federal Environment Department for a “serial” listing of the reserve, citing its rich defence, cultural, maritime and environmental credentials.
His submission coincides with the announcement of yet another community reference group to determine the reserve's future.
In a letter to Councillors, obtained by The Rip, Mr Sutherland said heritge recognition would also significantly boost the borough's tourism credentials.
“National Heritage listing can provide an excellent opportunity to achieve greater recognition and understanding of the Borough’s depth of heritage, which in turn will act as a year-round tourism drawcard aligning with the Council’s Destination Queenscliff strategy,” Mr Sutherland said in a letter to all Councillors.
“While this application is made by an individual, I trust you concur it is strongly preferred that the Queenscliffe Council – as representative of the community – takes over the running of this worthwhile project and sees it through to fruition.”
The land identified for protection is bounded by Port Phillip, Bass Strait and Ocean and Winterley Roads.
It includes the century-old lighthouse, Buckley’s Cave and a collection of old Defence and maritime structures including gun emplacements and the fog horn shed.
The Borough of Queenscliffe manages the land immediately around the lighthouse. The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) controls the rest.
A serial listing would link the reserve to the Queenscliff Fort and Point Nepean, which boast complimentary heritage assets.
“This approach is proposed as the Point Lonsdale site has similar heritage and environmental values as the other two locations and their history is intrinsically intertwined,” the nomination states.
Mr Sutherland was a member of the original community reference group, established by Council in 2014 to determine the reserve’s future and has been a leading community advocate for protecting it from development.
To gain National Heritage Listing, a location must have “outstanding natural, Indigenous or historic heritage values for the nation.”
Point Nepean and the Quarantine station are already on the more than 100-strong list, as is the Great Ocean Road, Bondi Beach and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
With its rich links to our nation’s defence and maritime history and as the location of the cave where William Buckley – regarded as the “Father of Reconciliation” – lived with the Wathaurung people for some 30 years, the reserve appears to meet the criteria.
“The Point Lonsdale Lighthouse precinct is of architectural, historical and archeological significance to Australia as it contains important navigational aids.. and defence structures associated with the First and Second World Wars,” the nomination continues.
Borough CEO Lenny Jenner is currently preparing a report on the implications of heritage listing for the municipality.
Prior to his election, Councillor Boyce Pizzey – a former Director of Heritage Victoria - was among a group of prominent locals to sign an open letter supporting Heritage Listing.