Hill's Bulldozer Bullying

04 Aug 2011 archivemedia

Health Minister John Hill wants the bulldozers to start their engines and begin knocking over historic Eastwood Lodge at Glenside.

The art deco building stands in the way of Labor’s plan to hand the publicly-owned mental hospital grounds to developers.

The National Trust last year nominated Eastwood Lodge for inclusion on the State Heritage Register. The independent South Australian Heritage Council then placed it on the provisional register.

“Freedom of Information documents show Minister Hill is leaning on the Environment Minister Paul Caica to get Eastwood off the heritage register,” Shadow Environment Minister Michelle Lensink said.

“To be listed, Eastside Lodge has to meet one of seven strict criteria. This building meets not just one, but three.

“Minister Hill has spent precious health funds to challenge the listing. He engaged an architectural firm to scuttle the lodge’s preservation, but even that company’s report failed to provide a conclusive reason why the lodge be taken off the register.

“Undaunted, Minister Hill wrote to Minister Caica asking him to take Eastwood Lodge off the heritage register.

“How much has Labor spent on this dreadful exercise? Minister Hill must explain why he is spending health dollars on repeating a heritage assessment instead of funding country hospitals.

“Labor must reassure South Australians they will stand up for our State’s heritage.”