I'll never understand why some people's hearts weep over old buildings. Perhaps it's nostalgia or something similarly deluded.
Heritage listings are fundamentally anti-progressive. Old buildings eventually become unsuitable for the majority of commercial tenants. Outdated heating, poor cooling, poor energy efficiency, and no data cabling typically ensure this fact. Instead of allowing the building to be demolished and a more suitable one to be erected, they are left to fall into disrepair, doomed to a life of Rug sales.
The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, currently located in the Edmund Barton building is vacating it, to move to modern, centrally-located premises on London Circuit. Presumably this is because their current accommodation is sub-standard.
The AFP were recently investigating moving into the Edmund Barton building once DAFF has vacated. Due to their security requirements, sizable modifications to the building are required. Of course, these renovations will likely be rejected due to its heritage listing.
Give heritage listings the flick, and look forwards rather than backwards. We don't need to keep these concrete monstrosities around for any longer than they need to be.