Burnside Council has short-sightedly ignored options to enable the Chelsea Cinema to continue operating, Legislative Councillor Michelle Lensink said today.
“It is clear that the community wants the Chelsea to continue to operate as a single screen cinema,” Ms Lensink said.
“However the Council has been short sighted in not consulting prior to making its decision to sell, and excluding the car parks in the proposition.”
In State Parliament today, Michelle Lensink asked the Minister for State/Local Government Relations, Hon Gail Gago whether she has received an application from the City of Burnside for revocation of the classification of the rear car park (located at 35 May Terrace, Kensington Park) as community land.
“Reclassification of this piece of land would enable the Council to offer it for consideration with the Chelsea package,” Ms Lensink said.
“At a recent public meeting, South Australian movie theatre company Wallis Cinemas said they could not afford to purchase the Chelsea Cinema itself, but could keep running it if they could develop adjacent sites (including car parks) into a viable operation if they were on offer.
“The Rann Labor Government has taken no leadership on this issue.
“While the State Government is happy to burn $43 million on a new film hub at Glenside (rather than keeping the whole site for mental health services), it is letting the state heritage listed Chelsea potentially fall into the wrong hands.”
The Minister admitted that she was in a receipt of “a complaint” but could provide no further details and also would not criticise the Council for conducting a consultation after its decision to sell once it was clear that there was massive community opposition.
Ms Lensink has written to the Burnside City Council urging it to reconsider its decision.