City Of Adelaide Development

13 Mar 2012 questionsarchive

I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Tourism a question on the subject of the city's cultural precincts.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: As the Fringe festival is under way, which showcases Adelaide around the world and brings in millions of tourism dollars, it serves as a reminder that Adelaide has not one but two neglected city cultural precincts in limbo. The first is Victoria Square, where plan after plan has been drawn up but nothing has come to fruition, and the second is the existing Royal Adelaide Hospital site. We had some mystical plans from minister Hill about a so-called Federation Square development on the site before the election but have yet to see anything since. My questions to the minister are:

1. Does the government have a master plan for either of these two sites?

2. Does the minister concede that if the government was not paying the equivalent of $2 million a day in interest payments there might actually be some money to do something about it?

The PRESIDENT: The minister will ignore the opinion.

The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, Minister for Forests, Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Tourism, Minister for the Status of Women) (15:54): I will; thank you for your advice, Mr President.

The Hon. J.M.A. Lensink interjecting:

The Hon. G.E. GAGO: Well, Mr President, they could come here with a decent question, for a change. Anyway, I thank the honourable member for her efforts. The question was at least better than that of the deputy leader. It had a bit more content and guts to it than the leader's question, although she has got the wrong minister, but not to worry.

Victoria Square is a project of the Adelaide City Council. It is a project that the council has had in place over many years and had many attempts at. It is a matter for the city council to progress. The government gave some financial commitment some time ago to assist in advancing that project, and I think the Adelaide Capital City Committee has responsibility for its oversight. The last I heard was that that project was still being considered and looked at.

It is a matter for the Adelaide City Council. They are the ones driving this, and it is Adelaide City Council ratepayers that are fundamentally backing it in terms of picking up the financial commitment to that. As I said, this state government has indicated its preparedness to assist in various ways, and the rest sits with the Adelaide City Council.

In terms of the Royal Adelaide Hospital site, again, a great deal of consideration has been given there. The lead minister for consideration of that site has been the Minister for Health, the Hon. John Hill, and the last report I heard was that work was still being done and being considered in relation to that site. As we know, the move to that new hospital is still many years off. So, there is plenty of time to consider the use of that site very carefully, to ensure that we consult with all appropriate stakeholders and to make sure that we consider all options possible. As I said, considerable work has been done and no doubt will continue under the steady hand of the Minister for Health, the Hon. John Hill.