Martindale Hall: Government now poised for a sell off
UPDATE October 23
There are just three more days before the Government closes off consultation on the proposal to privatise Martindale Hall and allow its conversion to an exclusive ‘wellness resort’.
Please take the opportunity to make your voice heard before it’s too late:
- by visiting the Your Say website and telling the Government what you think of this plan
- Signing and sharing the petition to the Premier of South Australia against the sale of Martindale Hall on change.org
- Liking and sharing the Facebook Page Share the love: Keep Martindale Hall for the People
Please do what you can to keep Martindale Hall for the people. Time is running out!
The National Trust of South Australia says the State Government will be selling off our precious heritage if it approves plans to turn historic Martindale Hall in the Clare Valley into a luxury health resort.
Trust President, Professor Norman Etherington, today demanded that a proposal to hand over one of South Australia’s most iconic buildings for commercial use be rejected and that it remain safely in public hands, as was always intended.
The Government had previously said it has no plans to sell the site, but is now entertaining an “unsolicited bid” for the building (and grounds) from a private development consortium.
“The National Trust has no wish to dictate the use to which Martindale Hall may be put in the near future, but is adamantly opposed to sale of an asset which was accepted into public ownership for the benefit of all the people of South Australia, “ Professor Etherington said.
“The sale would fatally compromise the terms on which this irreplaceable asset was transferred to State ownership.
“Selling such an important building and turning it into a luxury health resort is like selling parts of Government House to expand the casino… or selling the Mortlock Library to a second hand book store… or sub-dividing national parks for housing developments”.
Professor Etherington said the National Trust had previously offered to take responsibility for the building and grounds if the Government no longer wished to do so, but this had been largely ignored. Now, however, the Government appears willing to just sell it off to the first bidder, without an open tender process.
“The proponents of the bid argue that their resort proposal will boost tourism numbers and income to Clare and the Mid North region, but – surely – we don’t have to privatise our heritage to achieve that. ” he said.
“Suggestions that public tours can continue and it will be business as usual are ridiculous. It will be operating as a fully commercial venture.
“And what happens if the resort fails? Who will care about this important property then?”
Famous for its starring role in the iconic film Picnic at Hanging Rock, Martindale Hall is one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in Australia, and the best one in South Australia. More than fifty skilled tradesmen were brought out from England to construct it.
“It would be impossible to recreate the building today with any amount of money,” Professor Etherington said.
“Martindale Hall tells the history of our State like no other place. It is irreplaceable. Why would we give it up for the promise of a few quick dollars?”
What will you do to keep Martindale Hall for the people as was originally intended?
Tell the government what you think of this proposal on the Your Say website before it is too late,
or join us on Facebook to stop the sell off of this unique part of South Australia’s heritage that belongs to us all.
There is another public consultation session scheduled at Martindale Hall for Monday October 12 at 3pm.
Come along and let the Government know how you feel about the sale of our heritage.
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