Your views: on Greens, Urrbrae heritage and road planning

Today, readers comment on the balance of power in the Upper House, moves to demolish the Urrbrae gatehouse and road transport policy.

Jan 12, 2021, updated Jan 12, 2021

Commenting on the story: Greens unveil new candidate and balance of power hopes

The Greens are very good at talking up their credentials but fail to deliver stability as the keeper of the balance of power.

The role of the balance of power should be to ensure that governments keep to what they said they would do when elected, or to justify the circumstances when they change from their mandate.

The “keepers of balance of power” unfortunately see it as an opportunity to enforce their minority view on the majority. The Greens would have more credibility if they stuck to environmental issues rather than try enforce their minority views when given the power to control the upper house. It’s a bit like giving the fox the keys to the henhouse. Eric Granger

Commenting on the story: Urrbrae gatehouse demolition push despite millions in ‘contingency’ and heritage funding

I would like to endorse the views of so many residents of Adelaide who are protesting at the Government proposal to bulldoze the heritage listed Urrbrae gatehouse.

I feel utter despair at the loss of countless historical and beautiful buildings over the years. Is there no one in Government who has an appreciation of the importance of holding on to what remains of our fine buildings?

In this particular case there are alternatives to destroying the Gatehouse. This must be given priority; it is essential that the Government listen.

At the moment we see stubbornness and a blank refusal to take seriously the wrath of people who care and wish for their protest to be heard. – Gabrielle Longman

A big part of the beauty of Adelaide that is not just part of our culture but is also a major attraction for eastern states tourists, is our beautifully preserved heritage buildings.

The Urrbrae gatehouse is on one of the major roads into our city from the eastern states and the Gatehouse is one of the first sights of our beautifully preserved architecture that  many visiting tourists see.

Surely this Government has someone within that is smart enough to find a way around widening this intersection – if indeed that is required – without demolishing everything that gets in the way of poor planning!

If demolition does proceed, this act of gross disregard for our heritage which forms the irreplaceable beauty of our city will be on the head of Corey Wingard and the SA Liberal Government and will not  be forgotten at the next election when the people of SA will finally have a say that the government might well wish that they had listened to. Des DeCean

There must be a solution to this possible act of destruction. – Joan Nelson

The move is claimed to be needed to enable improvement of the intersection flow, but improving this by easing left turns towards the bottlenecks at Mercedes College and further on across Brownhill Creek, down Blythewood and Springbank to Daws Rd is not much of a substitute for the Foothills Expressway in the MATS plan.

More recently there have been suggestions for Cross Road to be made an expressway to link with north-south freeway, an obvious route to substitute for the Foothills Expressway. If this is to happen the gatehouse needs to be moved further away on the Waite property to save it from another attempt at destruction when that suggestion is raised again.

I have little doubt it will be – just remember the long term planning that has brought the north-south freeway gradually into being in spite of the setbacks to MATS all those years ago.

I support the saving of the gatehouse, but it must be moved far enough to get it out of the way of this. The cost must be accepted as just another normal thing to do when our valued past is involved.

Let us have some honesty and transparency in the planning for connecting the SE Freeway with the north-south – another substitute for the Foothills Expressway that involved tunnels from the SE Freeway across to Brownhill Creek then towards Springbank and Daws Roads has also been floated in recent times.

This also would involve lots of Waite electors, some of whom will remember the threat of the Foothills Expressway and their vigorous opposition to it. – Les Howard

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I am an alumni of the the Waite Research Institute, having  studied there Institute for four years, at a time when it was leading Australia in agricultural reseach.

The gatehouse is a beautiful  and unique heritage building erected on land bequested to the University by Mr Waite. It is a travesty to be considering moving it. I am certain that its construction is more than strong enough to withstand the action. Its brick and stone fabrication in common with other buildings on the site from Peter Waite’s time. It makes a farce of Waite’s foresight for this state and it’s agriculture.

It’s a very small gesture to a  man of  great foresight to protect this small piece of heritage. – Pamela Dunsford

I live on Fullarton Rd at Fullarton and shop at both Woolworths Arkaba and Frewville Foodland while my family owns a holiday house at Wallaroo.

I am dumbstruck trying to work out the strategies that this government uses when planning major infrastructure projects. Who are they trying to sandbag by redeveloping the Fullarton/Cross Rds intersection; Fullarton/Glen Osmond Rds; Magill/Portrush Rds and the “bypass” at Port Wakefield?

Fullarton/Cross Rds: The proposed demolition of the Waite Institute gatehouse is a slap in the face to Peter Waite’s bequest. If this proceeds, what’s next? Ayers House, Cummins House, Partridge House, the Vimy bomber at Adelaide Airport or even Mt Lofty House? There are enough stonemasons in Adelaide to demolish and rebuild it further into the estate. If Captain Cook’s Cottage could be transported from the UK and rebuilt in the Melbourne parklands, then the gatehouse can be saved.

Fullarton/Glen Osmond Rds: No-one would disagree that this intersection needs to be upgraded. However, the Arkaba Hotel and shopping centre has only a marginal encroachment, while the Frewville Foodland owned by the Chapley family loses access from north-bound traffic from Fullarton Rd.

Magill/Portrush Rds: Diana Laidlaw, when Transport Minister, oversaw the redevelopment of Portrush Rd from Glen Osmond to North East Rd. Who can forget the glee expressed by the Portrush Rd burghers when she offered to build 2-metre-high brick fences to muffle the noise of thousands of semi-trailers making their way between Adelaide and the eastern states each day. True to form, Ms Laidlaw failed to consider the needs of Magill Rd traffic.

Each of these three redevelopments has a common thread, sandbagging the Federal Liberal seats of Sturt, while the Fullarton/Cross Rds includes the Liberal seat of Boothby. For each of the developments the Government pushes the advantages for all road users. The capital cost of the three projects is around $300 million.

The city songbook is nowhere to be seen when the spinners from DIT spruik the benefits of the Port Wakefield “bypass”. They seem to believe that a handful of takeaway food and fuel businesses deserve more consideration than the thousands of truckies and private motorists who will have to slow down to 50 kph just to look at the abandoned service stations and SA’s largest wrecking yard. This project is budgeted to cost $120 million. This has all the trademarks of Southern Expressway #1.

Who is running this department? Its quite obvious that the current Minister, Corey Wingard has given the DIT boffins a free hand to do what they like without any public consultation. I received a one page “information sheet” on the Glen Osmond/Fullarton Rds project just before Christmas. Work has begun already.

Meanwhile in the bowels of the Government press releases is the news that the proposal to build a combined road and rail bypass from Murray Bridge to Mallala has been scrapped because it may have cost $2 billion. This would have allowed double-stacked container trains to travel non-stop between Melbourne and Perth, with a side benefit of removing the screeching of train wheels throughout the Adelaide Hills. 

In 12 months time when the ALP retakes the Government seats there will be a fair bit of tidying up the mess that the Libs have made. – Geoff Phillips

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