Protecting and promoting heritage

12 November 2020

Mr DULUK (Waite) (15:42): I rise today to discuss the importance of protecting and promoting our local heritage. Throughout my community, and I know so many communities across South Australia, we have wonderful historic buildings and places of historical and architectural importance and natural beauty as well.

In my electorate, from the Winns Road Historic Precinct in Coromandel Valley to the Urrbrae House Historic Precinct in the Waite Arboretum, there is so much heritage. When I spend time at these historic sites in my community, as I quite often do, I am reminded of simpler times, before such leaps and bounds in technology, when people were tied together by locality and a strong sense of community.

In recent weeks, months and years there have been quite a number of restoration projects happening in the electorate, in particular the $3 million development at Carrick Hill—a development of the historic Haywood House with renovations to the visitor centre and a renovation and upgrade of the old coach house at Government House situated within Belair National Park. Both these projects are courtesy of the recent Adelaide City Deal.

It was lovely to join recently the Friends of Carrick Hill, represented by their president, Jill Argent, to hear the 2021 vision from Tony Kanellos, the new Director of Carrick Hill, Peter Kennedy and the Director of Benefaction, Richard Heathcote. They told us of their vision of what Carrick Hill is going to look like as a wonderful state asset going forward.

Of course, I also had the opportunity to have a look at the new renovations of the upper room loft, which is going to be such a great art space for so many in South Australia. I encourage people to go and check out this wonderful 20th century house, museum and garden venue.

Two weeks ago, I had the chance to receive a private tour of Old Government House in our beautiful Belair National Park and explore the recently completed coach house and garden upgrades. Built in 1861, this is a stand-out example of our state's early built heritage and I would encourage all to visit the house and grounds, both of which are so carefully cared for by the amazing Friends of Old Government House. A big thankyou to Wayne and Tina Gallasch for their tour and their constant advocacy for this wonderful state asset, and to all the active friends of Old Government House.

To better understand the funding of heritage outside of Waite, I would encourage for people to search for the South Australian Heritage Grants Program. Round 2 of the program is open at the moment and there are allocations for important works across our community.

I would like to single out the Mitcham Historical Society, led by president, John Wood, for the advocacy for heritage in our community, including the preservation of the historic Peter Waite gate house at the corner of Cross Road-Fullarton Road intersection and significant trees in the Waite Arboretum as part of the ongoing consultation with the Department for Infrastructure and Transport on this road project.

The Mitcham Historical Society are full of knowledge and love and passion for all things Mitcham related and it was great to attend their AGM a couple of weeks ago—I believe the member for Elder was there as well—and to listen to Richard Harris recounting his stories of growing up in Mitcham in the 1940s and 1950s and also exploring and informing attendees about the importance of Mitcham Village at the turn of the previous century being a real key part of southern Adelaide.

The Coromandel Valley and Districts Branch of the National Trust also do a wonderful job in promoting heritage and tourism in Coromandel Valley and the greater Coromandel Valley district. It was really important and a great opportunity to join the Minister for Environment recently together with the Pope family and Trevor Conlon who is President of the Coromandel Valley and Districts Branch of the National Trust, having a look at Frank Smith Park and dam and seeing the importance there.

We have seen a lot of debate about the Planning and Design Code. In March, there was a petition presented to parliament looking for increased community participation in the rollout of the code. It is so important that the new Planning and Design Code respects the importance of heritage, the environment, the needs of community and that we do not see development at all costs, and we do not see development in our community at the cost of heritage and local history.