GUILDFORD HOTEL RALLY TO HIGHLIGHT WEAK HERITAGE LAWS
Over 2 years ago more than 5000 people signed a petition about the perilous state of the heritage-listed Guildford Hotel following a fire in 2008.
The petition, which was tabled in Parliament by the Shadow Minister for Heritage, John Hyde, also asked for WA’s heritage laws to be strengthened to stop sagas like the Guildford Hotel from happening again.
The Heritage Minister, John Castrilli, responded at the time and announced a review of the Heritage of Western Australia Act 1990. The review was completed last year but the outcome remains unknown – just like the fate of the Hotel, which remains without a roof and open to the rain.
Mr Ben Allen, Guildford community spokesperson, said “We urge Government to act quickly to protect the Guildford Hotel and other heritage icons.
“We are holding this rally opposite the damaged building in the heart of Guildford so our political leaders can tell us how they will ensure key heritage assets survive for communities, now and in the future.
“Liberals, Labor and the Greens are coming to the rally. The owners have also been invited ” he said.
“Guildford and its fast-growing neighbour, the Swan Valley, want Guildford’s historic heart beating again and quickly. There will be huge support for businesses that help make this happen.
“We are pleased the Hotel’s owners are now advertising for tenants because they have said that without tenants the project won’t proceed. This means the future of the heritage-listed Hotel depends solely on the owners’ judgment of its financial viability – and this deeply concerns the community.
“It is now 4½ years since the building was damaged by fire. This will be its 5th winter without a roof … what happens if tenants aren’t found for another 2 years?”
Mr Allen said that while the community wishes the owners well in their search for tenants, a lot of damage that has occurred to the Hotel could have been prevented if the owners had provided even a temporary roof.
“The owners should act straight away to protect the building. And if they don’t, the time has come for all levels of government to work together quickly to ensure a good outcome” he said.
“We are at the stage where all parties must declare their “Plan B’s” to ensure this priceless asset survives”.
The rally, which the organisers are calling the “She’s-Not- Out-of-the-Woods-Yet-Rally”, will be held this Saturday 2 February 2013 at 10.30am opposite the Hotel.
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