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Issue #1554      4 July 2012

VTHC: Treat Ned Kelly’s remains respectfully

The Victorian Building Trades Unions have asked the Victorian Trades Hall Council (VTHC) to assist in the growing public campaign to have the remains of Ned Kelly returned to his modern day family.

Trades Hall secretary, Brian Boyd, called on the Victorian government to complete its promise to return the remains to the family descendents:

“This is simply a matter of ensuring that the right thing is done in the face of the vested interests of the commercial developer of the former Pentridge Prison site, who is putting his financial interests ahead of wider social concerns,” Brian Boyd explained.

The VTHC said the Victorian government announced that Ned Kelly's remains had been positively identified more than eight months ago now, and that it was the government's intention to return them to his family members.

But since that time the VTHC understands the public commitment has been challenged by the former Pentridge Prison site property developer who is claiming he has some “ownership” of the remains.

Former Pentridge Prison Chaplain and RMIT Professor, Peter Norden, has also briefed Trades Hall about the issue in recent weeks, and is supportive of the building unions supporting a "fair go" for Kelly’s remains.

Ned Kelly was originally buried in the grounds of what is now RMIT University in 1880, and moved to the Pentridge Prison site in 1929. “It is now time for the remains to be given a proper burial, according to Kelly’s family's wishes,”

Peter Norden insisted: "Every fair minded Australian would support his remains being returned to his family".

The Victorian Building Unions say it is time for the Victorian government to bypass the commercial interests of a private developer for a wider proper, respectful outcome.

"It is simply not right for a private company to stand in the way of the rights of Kelly's family descendents", Brian Boyd said.

Professor Peter Norden has told the VTHC he is encouraged by the support of the building unions.  

Next article – NSWTF congratulates members

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