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Your views: on hotels and heritage, and listening to electors

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Today, readers comment on why local heritage listing doesn’t protect a city building from demolition, on election lessons, and crowdfunded litigation.

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Commenting on the story: Hyatt’s return to city on disputed heritage site

It is bad enough that so much of Adelaide’s CBD historic buildings are not listed, thanks to John Rau and the Henry Ninio Council that didn’t list any building where the owner objected, regardless of merits.

But now to have demolition of Local Heritage ‘on merit’ – as introduced in John Rau’s capital city DPA – enabling the loss seen here of even our listed buildings, is beyond the pale. 

I am sure that the proponents of this Hyatt Hotel Development told Government and the SCAP (State Commission Assessment Panel) that the Hyatt’s return to Adelaide was contingent on them being giving approval to demolish the Local Heritage-listed Bank of SA building built in 1927. 

Its the old three card trick, which the Government and the SCAP have naively fallen for.

That the Hyatt in Sydney, which is magnificent, sits within and behind a beautiful heritage building is evidence that retention of heritage, such as this Local Heritage-listed facade, would not have been a ‘deal breaker’ to this investment in South Australia.

People will not be drawn to Adelaide to stay in a new modern hotel such as this; they will be drawn by Adelaide’s appeal to them, which includes our relatively intact stock of beautiful historic buildings.

It is said that 400 jobs will be created in its construction and the views and proposed hotel facilities look fantastic, but all that employment and all those attributes of the new hotel could easily have been achieved whilst retaining and incorporating the facade.

The current owner bought the site from the previous owner, who would have agreed for the facade to be Local Heritage-listed in 1993.

They would have bought it for an amount that reflected the fact that there was a plot ratio floor area limit, and there was requirement to retain the Local Heritage-listed facade and set any tower 8m behind it.

I am aware that in recent years one heritage architectural firm was asked to support a development with less than 8m setback, but when they advised that the 8m setback was important, they were not engaged and instead another heritage architectural firm was engaged to support just a 2-3m setback, which yielded the owner a huge theoretical increase in potential floor area.

That the SCAP report that the interior had been stripped and an unsympathetic brutalist concrete extension added to the side was a decider in the SCAP permitting the development shows a complete lack of understanding of Local Heritage protection, which does not pertain to the interior anyway, and would exclude the unsympathetic brutalist additions, which are all that needed to be demolished.

The hotel development could have had an uber-modern but sympathetic scale replacement of the brutalist corner element as a hotel foyer podium featuring the historic facade, and then set the hotel tower with a north facing hotel terrace behind the parapet of the existing building.

If they needed more room, there is a vacant car park site immediately behind this site.

As proposed, the bitumen car park will remain and Adelaide will lose the beautiful Local Heritage-listed facade, which is what the public get to enjoy the view of.

Surely Adelaide doesn’t have prostitute our listed heritage like this in order to get investment in South Australia. Sandy Wilkinson 

What is wrong with this government? Obviously the word heritage means nothing, or it would have told CES where they can go.

Oh look it’s great to have the brand Hyatt Regency in your city, but at this expense? I wonder.

It’s a bit like the demolition of Shed 26; your wonderful history means nothing. Richard Forbes

Commenting on the story: “Our own base rejected us”: Labor warned on ‘pro-environment’ agenda

A key to understanding the 2019 Boothby election result is the missing Xenophon-aligned candidate.

In 2016, Nick Xenophon Team’s Karen Hockley came third, not far behind Labor. Noting too that a Xenophon-recruited candidate (Rebekha Sharkie) won again in adjacent Mayo, it seems insensitive to local context to treat Boothby as a microcosm of the larger (eg. national) picture.

The maps in your article show some but not all of the lower socio-economic areas in Boothby swinging to the Liberal Party.

I suspect a more complex response by the electorate than some would have it. – Jim Allen

I have concluded that in the past decade or so, political parties of all persuasions now lean only to highly-paid advisers and focus groups to garner what the electors are supposedly thinking.

Are they telling their paymasters what they want to hear?

The voters are only asked by Labor, Liberal etc. to cast their vote for them on polling day.

Posters of smiling would-be politicians asking us to vote for them, with shallow slogans, “I am working for you” etc. 

They (we) are treated, in my opinion, as irrelevant morons except at election time by our political parties.

Our opinions are seemingly hardly canvassed, and are of little to no relevance to the political parties if we do dare to offer an opinion.

Only the advisers and so called focus groups’ opinions and advice are relevant to politicians.

Just look how wrong the pollsters were at forecasting the federal election results.

South Australian politicians are as disconnected from their communities as are federal politicians.

Alas, that’s modern politics in the 21st century. – Kerry Seebohm

Commenting on the opinion piece: Beware the ethical pitfalls of crowdfunded litigation

Is there not also the issue that if the litigant does not pay his/her own costs, there is clear legal authority that they can not seek to recover their costs if they are successful?

That may be OK on matters of principle or public interest, but it can not be said that is so where for example, Folau is seeking 10 million in compensation.

If he was not seeking compensation, or pledged to give it to charity, then it could be accepted it was on principle.

Also, in the Folau matter the issue of costs recovery is not important as Fair Work claims are generally a no costs jurisdiction, but it does apply to other types of legal claims (save for serious criminal matters or family law where costs are not generally awarded to a successful party). – Aleecia Murray

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