A group of Melbourne residents has launched a campaign against Apple over its plans to locate a proposed flagship store in the city's Federation Square.
The 'Our City, Our Square' campaign has been coincided to launch alongside a debate to be held on Tuesday night at a forum in the square.
The Victorian government last December revealed the 15-year-old Yarra Building in Federation Square woud be demolished to make way for the tech giant’s first global flagship store in the southern hemisphere.
The plan has the backing of the Andrews government, which brought the square’s original architect Donald Bates on board to offer insight into the $50 million project.
Bates said the store would be "an affirmation of the original intent and aspiration of Fed Square – to be the centre of action in Melbourne".
However, there has been considerable backlash from community members and Melbourne city council over the commercialisation of a public space.
The Citizens for Melbourne campaign group argues the square should be a "public space for public benefit – not corporate profit”.
The group has facilitated over 840 submissions to Melbourne council, asking for the development to be blocked.
It is encouraging citizens to contact premier Daniel Andrews and opposition leader Matthew Guy in opposition to the plan, and to sign a petition and donate to the cause.
Architect and president of Citizens of Melbourne Tania Davidge will debate Bates alongside Federation Square CEO Johnathan Tribe and state government architect Jill Garner, among others, tonight in the square.
The debate will be live streamed from 6pm AEDT on the Open House Melbourne website.