Get your priorities right Premier Rann

05 May 2007 archivemedia

The Rann Government needs to decide what it is more interested in – preserving South Australia’s heritage or building a tram to nowhere.

News that the old Adelaide Gaol may be forced to close its doors to visitors because the Rann Government will not help fund its restoration is a sad reflection on the government’s priorities, Shadow Environment and Conservation Minister Michelle Lensink said.

“Tours of the historical site are under threat and Minister Gago has directed that no more Bed & Breakfast bookings be taken and the function centre’s operations are under review,” Ms Lensink said.

“The old gaol is a fantastic site – it’s so close to the city and has so much historical significance but it is in need of a great deal of repair.

“The site is run by a committed group of volunteers but the upkeep and repairs that need to be done are too big to be the responsibility of these people.

“The money that the Rann Government allocates to the upkeep of the state’s historical sites is abysmal – the total budget for State Heritage listed sites is $163,000.

“No wonder the Rann Government was so keen to get rid of Marble Hill – the former summer residence of South Australian governors – it means they can allocate even less money to maintaining the state’s heritage.

“This government seems to have a vendetta against the protection of this state’s heritage.

“The sites on its hit list are stacking up: Marble Hill, Fort Glanville and now Adelaide Gaol.

“The Rann Government is trying to privatise Marble Hill and it is also trying to divest itself of any responsibilities for other important historical sites around the state.

“Rather than spending money on a landmark in ode to himself such as the tram, Premier Rann should be protecting buildings that have meant, and will continue to mean, much more to South Australians.”