The South Hobart Progress Association Inc. (SHPA Inc.) has, today, lodged a non-conforming tender with the State Government for the purchase of 408 Macquarie Street, South Hobart – the former 1895 Macquarie Street State School, which, until recently, was the South Hobart Adult Education Centre.
Mr. David Halse Rogers, Hon. Secretary of the Association said that: “The School, by Tasmania’s most famous architect of the Victorian Era, Henry Hunter, is – along with All Saints’ Church and Cascade Brewery – a treasured icon of South Hobart.”
“Despite repeated efforts, over two years, to gain the ear of the relevant Minister of Education to discuss constructive ways in which the old School could remain in public hands”, said Mr. Halse Rogers, “the Progress Association has become more and more frustrated and saddened at the State Government’s total lack of involvement with the community.” “It is outrageous that our democratically elected representatives show voters such disdain”, he said.
“The State Government has put the former Macquarie Street State School out to tenders recently. The Association decided to take the bold step of lodging a non-conforming tender for the site, which states that the Government could save, over coming years, the recurrent annual costs of providing accommodation funds to not-for-profit organisations, who would use the Centre. Under the proposal the Government would retain the monies normally provided to the NFP associations for lease costs on a recurrent basis and the NFP organisatons would only be liable for maintenance and outgoings”.
He said that: “it would be a win-win situation for all, as the State Government would have its sale and the community would retain ownership of this community asset”. “As an act of good faith, the SHPA Inc. has lodged a dollar coin with its tender documents in lieu of the 1% deposit fee”.