The Australian Institute of Architects South Australian Chapter has called for a parliamentary inquiry into the development of the $3.2 billion new Women’s and Children’s Hospital, as it condemned this week’s bill to rezone the historic Thebarton Police Barracks site.
The Institute’s South Australian Chapter President Anthony Coupe said the project could further encroach on Adelaide’s urban plan with additional rezoning of the nationally-listed Adelaide Parklands.
The South Australian Government’s bill, which will now go to the Lower House, paves the way for the demolition of the century-old heritage site.
“We are deeply disappointed at the latest development in this flawed process,” he said.
“Rezoning the Thebarton Police Barracks site could fast-track their demolition. This is a process that is likely to occur before the true impact of the development is understood.
“We believe this and other issues should be examined properly with a parliamentary inquiry before work starts on this flawed site.”
The Institute has called for a review of the $3.2 billion development adjacent to nationally-listed Adelaide Parklands, and has proposed three alternative sites.
Further, the Institute believes the impact of reconstruction of the Port Road Bridge on access to the city from the western suburbs appears to be poorly considered as it could restrict traffic, including ambulance access, to the Royal Adelaide Hospital.
“How can we proceed with confidence given the significant questions that remain and the impact that the project will have on both state and nationally-listed heritage?, Mr Coupe said.
“It would be a terrible shame to demolish state-listed buildings and to compromise the Parklands before we even know if the project is viable as currently proposed.
“Once these buildings are gone, they cannot be replaced. Building projects should not be fast-tracked to suit political cycles and agendas.”
The Institute has proposed a 34,000sqm site in Thebarton opposite Bonython Park, a 38,000sqm block also opposite Bonython Park, and the 28,000sqm former Australia Post site bounded by Grote, Gouger and Blenheim Streets and West Terrace for the new hospital.
The Institute supports the construction and design industry work opportunities that the new hospital will create, as well as the long-term public health service and social amenity provision for the wider community.
For media enquiries contact:
Nicolette Di Lernia
Australian Institute of Architects – SA Chapter
P. + 61 (8) 8402 5911 | M. +61 (0) 438 805 701 | E. firstname.lastname@example.org