Proposed Adelaide Oval hotel
WHAT’S BEING PROPOSED?
In November 2018 the State Government announced it would be providing a $42 million Government-guarantee of funding to permit the Stadium Management Authority to build a so-called “boutique” hotel in Tarntanya Wama (Park 26) in 2019.
The Government announcement claimed that the hotel design would not extend the “footprint” of the Oval stadium into the Park Lands. However, this claim ignores the fact that the entire stadium is on Park Lands. The proposed hotel would simply overhang Park Lands, now part of the Oval’s external concourse. Prior to the stadium construction in 2011, this was a grassed area. It is still part of Park 26 within the Adelaide Park Lands.
The Government announcement focussed only on the part of Park 26 that is leased to the Stadium Management Authority. There is no proposal to increase the leased area. Rather, the proposal is to add a huge hotel to the leased area. The hotel would be attached to the stadium like a leech or parasite.
WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE IDEA?
A private hotel is not consistent with a public Park. There are many places where hotels might be built. Commercial land could be obtained in the City or North Adelaide, but not on Park Lands. A hotel on that site would forever change the peaceful character of Creswell Gardens, Pennington Gardens. and Stella Bowen Park alongside Adelaide Oval within Tarntanya Wama (Park 26).
The stadium itself is an alienation of Park Lands. It’s a private building, as the playing surface is off limits to the public. Of course, it’s the playing home of multi-million dollar sports franchises, both football and cricket. We love our footy and cricket. Sport (even professional sport) is a land use typically associated with Parks, and the noise and inconvenience to other Park users are mostly restricted to game days. A hotel is very different. It exists solely to make a profit. It is a commercial enterprise 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It cannot be allowed to leech off a Park Lands site for that purpose. Transforming a sporting arena into a hotel site is an example of corporate greed.
But those are not the only reasons that this is a bad idea. You can scroll right or left on the edges of this graphic to see 24 reasons why the Government should re-think its dubious plan to put a private hotel in Tarntanya Wama (Park 26).
WHAT IS BEING DONE TO PREVENT THIS?
On Tuesday 11 December 2018, the Adelaide City Council voted UNANIMOUSLY to tell the State Government that it should re-think its hotel proposal. Councillor Anne Moran sought and obtained the support of all 10 of her fellow Councillors, to send a strong message to the State Government, that this proposal is a bad idea. Even Councillors who are known Liberal party supporters joined in the chorus criticising the State Government’s hotel plan, for a range of different reasons. APPA congratulates all Councillors and the Lord Mayor, Sandy Verschoor for their stand on this.
APPA has started a petition: https://www.change.org/p/premier-of-south-australia-no-pub-in-the-park .
On 5 January, we held a “black armband silent rally” at Adelaide Oval (see pics) using black to symbolise the death of State Government respect for the Park Lands.
On 9 January we wrote to the Premier enclosing pictures of the rally.
This proposal is also the subject of an inquiry by a Select Committee of the upper house of State Parliament. On 5 December 2018, the Legislative Council set up a Select Committee into the “Redevelopment of Adelaide Oval”. The Committee’s terms of reference are very broad and it’s seeking public submissions by 1 February.
These six members of the Upper House (two Labor, one Liberal, one Conservative, one SA Best and one Advance SA) are holding an inquiry into the stadium’s plans.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
You can help by:
writing to the Premier and/or your local Member of State Parliament especially Liberal MPs and urge them to re-think the plan. If you're not sure who your local member is, refer to this map: https://www.ecsa.sa.gov.au/map and this list of Members: http://www.parliament.sa.gov.au/Members/HouseofAssembly/Pages/List%20of%20Members.aspx. If you're not sure what to say, here’s a sample email that you can copy and paste into your own email, to your local MP
writing (before 1 February 2019) to the Select Committee into the “Redevelopment of Adelaide Oval”. You can, if you wish, use the sample email or our letter to the Premier as a guide.
signing our petition: https://www.change.org/p/premier-of-south-australia-no-pub-in-the-park
WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT?
The City Council is the landlord of the Oval but a new law passed in 2011 has removed the Council’s decision-making powers over the “core leased area” of the stadium. Therefore, the Council may be powerless to stop it.
We are hoping that after receiving your letters, the State Government will see the folly in what they have proposed, learn from their mistake, and change course.
This is a crucial turning point in the history of the Park Lands. A hotel at this site could be just the beginning of a wave of commercialisation over Adelaide’s priceless asset.
What happens next is up to you.