The old RAH site: the so-called “Lot 14”
In an Orwellian twist of Doublespeak, the State Government calls this area “Lot 14” in an attempt to disguise its legal status as part of the Adelaide Park Lands.
The so-called 'Lot 14" in Park 11 (the former Royal Adelaide Hospital site) has been earmarked for a range of new buildings, by a Government that is determined not to return any of the site to Park Lands.
The "Master Plan" drawn up by Renewal SA, acknowledges only a "Park Lands Edge" to its real estate dreams (see below).
At its centre is a building marked as "short-stay accommodation" i.e. a hotel which Renewal SA expects would feature 200 to 250 rooms. It also includes a so-called "innovation, incubator, start-up and growth hub"; and an "international centre for tourism, hospitality and food service" among other commercial features - along with a new museum or art gallery.
The City Council has no role in this plan but is concerned about whether commercial businesses on the old RAH site might be exempt from paying Council rates.
Plans for the site have also ignored community pleas for a separated cycle route or any "green corridor” to link to the Park Lands.
As soon as plans for a new Royal Adelaide Hospital were unveiled in 2008, there was debate about what should become of the old RAH site, within Park 11.
The previous State Labor Government made a series of promises to return various parts of the site to Park Lands, but failed to deliver on any of these promises. It also ignored a statutory duty (in section 23 of the Adelaide Park Lands Act 2005) to undertake a report on how the site might be returned to Park Lands.
On Tuesday 19 September 2017, with one eye on a looming ate election, the former Labor State Government walked away from a threat to allow 17-storeys of private apartments to be build on the Park Lands site of the old RAH.
This was something on which APPA and many others had been campaigning for more than a year. 31 eminent South Australians (and the City Council) had joined a loud chorus telling the State Government that private residential development on Park Lands would have been a "gross breach of trust."
The Government did not change its mind because of any sudden realisation that Adelaide's Park Lands are priceless. No, in former Premier Jay Weatherill's own words, the offer on the table from private developers was simply too low:
“It’s just not value for money for us … for what is the premium site in all of South Australia.”
If you think Adelaide can do better than this, then TAKE ACTION!