Michelle Lensink


I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Environment and Conservation a question about heritage.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: I was advised this morning that demolition works have begun at the Glenside site on a building known as the old laundry. I am also advised that the City of Burnside commissioned a heritage report on the Glenside site and recommended at its meeting last night the immediate state heritage listing of three buildings, including the old laundry building. Furthermore, this government itself, in a conservation plan of the Glenside Hospital by Bruce Harry and Associates in September 2003, recommended that this building be placed on the State Heritage Register. Why is the minister's department deliberately seeking to demolish heritage when two separate levels of government have recommended its heritage listing?

The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Environment and Conservation, Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Minister Assisting the Minister for Health) (14:21): Oh, what absolute mischief making! On 17 June 2008 I announced that the first visible work on the Glenside campus site had commenced with the deconstruction of a disused shed to make way for a temporary building to house administrative staff during the transition phase of the construction of the new health facility. I am advised that the decommissioning of this shed commenced on Monday of this week. I have also been advised that the shed being removed has no heritage listing, state or local. So, when the decision was made, I am advised there was no heritage listing, state or local. I have been advised that the heritage assessment in the area and on that site did not recommend listing. So, the advice I have is that the building has no heritage merit. On the matter of heritage, I am advised that SA Health is not aware of any plans by the local council. It is interesting that a resolution was passed last night, when decommissioning started on Monday. I have also been advised that South Australia Health is not aware of any plans by the local council to seek heritage consideration for this shed. As I have stated many times, the government will retain all state heritage listed structures on the Glenside site. I have said that—

Members interjecting:


The Hon. G.E. GAGO: I am advised by SA Health that all appropriate approvals have been received to undertake this minor work. Obviously, the more significant step of starting demolition of the outdated health facilities is yet to occur. So, we can see that there is mischief a field. To try to make decisions retrospectively is completely misleading. I am also advised that the old laundry is, in fact, a different building from the building that is currently being demolished. Apparently, this old shed was once used as a laundry, but it is not that old laundry building. As I have said, I gave a commitment right from the outset that all state heritage listing of buildings would be upheld, and my commitment in that regard continues. However, I am not going to have mischief-makers trying to sabotage what is a massive reform agenda of our state's mental health system.

The Hon. P. Holloway interjecting:

The Hon. G.E. GAGO: As the honourable member says, there is reckless self-interest in terms of prospective property values. This government does not resile from its commitment to reform what we inherited, namely, a completely outdated and outmoded mental health system. It is an absolute disgrace that the former Liberal government neglected our mental health services and infrastructure. This government has given a commitment to reform our mental health system right across the state. We will rebuild, restructure and relocate our services. We are committed to—

 Members interjecting:


The Hon. G.E. GAGO: We have put our money where our mouth is. We have committed $107.9 million to rebuild, relocate and restructure our mental health system, and it is something of which South Australians can be proud. As I said, we inherited an absolute disgrace from the former Liberal government. However, not only did it neglect these services and health care consumers when it was in government but it is now the mouthpiece for mischief-makers.

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