Legislative Council: Tuesday, May 30, 2023


Gladstone Gaol

In reply to the Hon. J.S. LEE (Deputy Leader of the Opposition) ().22 March 2023).

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries): The Minister for Climate, Environment and Water has advised:

1. Important repairs and maintenance have been underway since the Gladstone Gaol was closed to the public in June 2022 when the site's caretaker licence ended. While the state government-funded roofing, stormwater management and flooring repair work is being undertaken, the Department for Environment and Water have continued to provide access to the National Trust of SA to enable the Silver to Sea Way project to progress.

2. Supported by the Department for Environment and Water, the minister has committed funds from the Government Owned Heritage Fund to complete priority repair works on various gaol buildings as soon as is practically possible. While the repair work is intended for completion by June 2023, this work may extend into later 2023 due to the current nature of delays in the building industry and seasonal considerations. Further, the department has been working with the National Trust of SA to secure further repair works as part of the Silver to Sea Way project. This is likely to focus on the tower/lookout section of the gaol.

Concurrently, the Department for Environment and Water has commenced an update of the 2005 Conservation Management Plan for Gladstone Gaol, which includes an audit of more than 2,000 historical objects at the site. The outcome of the audit will inform possible listing of the objects as state heritage objects, providing additional protection and recognition of their significance.

3. The Silver to Sea Way project is funded by the Australian government and project managed by the National Trust of SA. The state government continues to support the National Trust of SA through providing access to the site and ongoing discussions regarding the future management and facilitation of public access to the site. The state government funded maintenance works, undertaken as part of the Government Owned Heritage Funding, are on track despite some delays due to a shortage of contractors.

4. The state government has been working closely with the National Trust of SA and was actually on site with the trust on 8 May 2023. The National Trust of SA have advised that they have secured an extension of time for their commonwealth grant and both parties are working collaboratively to ensure the project funding will be expended at Gladstone Goal this year. Unlike the previous government, we will continue to work closely with the National Trust on this and other related matters moving forward.