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Motion: Save the Crown and Anchor Hotel

1 May 2024



Adjourned debate on motion of Hon R.A. Simms:

That this council—

1. Notes that Singapore-based developer Wee Hur Holdings Ltd has made an application for partial demolition and adaptive reuse of the site of the Crown and Anchor Hotel, which was first licensed in 1853 and has been a cornerstone of Adelaide’s live music scene for over three decades.

2. Acknowledges an online petition signed by over 15,000 people opposing any attempts at demolition or change in the use of the Crown and Anchor Hotel.

3. Recognises that Adelaide is a designated UNESCO City of Music for the vibrancy of the city’s music culture, including its live music venues.

4. Calls on the Malinauskas government to:

(a) oppose any partial demolition or adaptive reuse of the Crown and Anchor Hotel;

(b) make a submission to the State Commission Assessment Panel indicating that position; and

(c) move to amend state heritage laws to ensure that cultural and social value is considered in the development assessment of heritage sites like the Crown and Anchor Hotel.


The Hon. J.E. HANSON (17:25): moved an amendment to the motion:

Leave out paragraph 4 and insert new paragraphs as follows:

4. Encourages any member in this place to make a submission to the State Commission Assessment Panel by 11.59pm on Friday 10 May 2024 to enable them to make an informed decision when the application is considered.

5. Notes that the Planning and Design Code under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 can designate a place as a place of local heritage value and local councils may seek to initiate amendments to the Planning and Design Code to designate a place as a place of local heritage value and that the Crown and Anchor was designated as a local heritage place on 1 November 2001.

6. Notes that on 24 April 2024 the Heritage Council received a nomination from a member of the public to make the Crown and Anchor a State Heritage Place and that the council is also anticipating a second nomination imminently.

7. Notes that on 26 April 2024 the Crown and Anchor Hotel was provisionally entered on the state Heritage Register as a State Heritage Place by the Chair of the Heritage Council under section 17 (2)(b) of the Heritage Places Act 1993 which is essentially a determination that a place should be protected while an assessment of its heritage significance is carried out and that an assessment will now be carried out with a decision to be made on the validity of the nomination at a future meeting of council likely in early September.

8. Notes the criteria to list a place as a State Heritage Place is contained within the Heritage Places Act 1993—this means that any future considerations to amend the criteria would be a matter for the Minister for Climate, Environment and Water as the minister responsible for the Heritage Places Act 1993 and that the act already includes a specific criteria centred around a place having a strong cultural or spiritual association for the community or a group within it.


The Hon. R.A. SIMMS (17:45): I want to thank all members who have spoken on this motion: the Hon. Mr Hanson, the Hon. Michelle Lensink, the Hon. Tammy Franks, and the Hon. Frank Pangallo. I also want to put on record my thanks to the Crown and Anchor campaign, the Cranker campaign, for the amazing work that they have done in mobilising so many people in our community on this issue. This motion is not the end of this campaign; in fact, it is just the beginning. It is just the beginning of a new movement that is campaigning to reform our planning laws in South Australia and ensure that we have a planning system that actually listens to the views of the community rather than being captive to the interests of developers.

It is clear that there is momentum to fix South Australia's broken planning system and to actually listen to the views of the community. I am disappointed that paragraph 4 of this motion is being struck out, because the government's amendments take all of the verbs out of the motion. The motion actually called on the government to form a position opposing this redevelopment of the Crown and Anchor, and it called on the government to support the social and cultural elements of heritage as well, and to ensure that that was appropriately recognised through our planning laws.

I am disappointed that the Liberal Party seems to have changed its position on that. It seems to be a case of saying one thing on the steps of Parliament House on Sunday and doing something a bit different here in the parliament, and that is a shame. I fear that there may be some members here who are capitulating to the views of the Property Council, and that is a shame, because if the Property Council had their way, then our planning laws would not be about people at all. It is a bit like those uni chiefs who talk about unis being great places if not for the students.

The Property Council seems to think that our cities would be great places to live if not for the people who are actually in them. They seem to think that our planning system should not involve any emotion, should not actually consider the views of the residents and the community. Well, our cities are not simply soulless concrete jungles. They are about people—that is what they are about—and the community should have a say in planning the neighbourhoods in which we live. These decisions should not be outsourced to unelected committees, committees of so-called experts. These decisions should be made by communities and involve their local councils.

I do just want to say that one of the deep flaws in our planning system and our heritage laws that has been exposed here is the fact that we have a planning regime and a heritage regime that is really shallow in terms of the protection that it provides to our iconic buildings. It is simply not acceptable that a developer can protect the facade and gut the interior of our iconic buildings. We need to change our planning laws so that that cannot continue to happen. We need to change our planning laws to ensure that a venue like the Crown and Anchor cannot be converted into a soulless building.

This is not the end of this campaign; it is simply the campaign moving into another phase. If this motion gets up in an amended form tonight, that will be a good outcome for all those who have been out there rallying and campaigning, because it demonstrates that the parliament takes this matter seriously. But there is still a lot more work to do, and I want to make it very clear that the Greens stand shoulder to shoulder with all those people in our community who want to see a planning system that actually works for people and not developers. I indicate that we will not be supporting the amendments, but we will support, of course, the substantive motion should the amendments be successful.


The council divided on the amendment:

Ayes 17

Noes 3

Majority 14


Bonaros, C. Bourke, E.S. Centofanti, N.J.
El Dannawi, M. Game, S.L. Girolamo, H.M.
Hanson, J.E. (teller) Henderson, L.A. Hood, B.R.
Hunter, I.K. Lee, J.S. Lensink, J.M.A.
Maher, K.J. Martin, R.B. Ngo, T.T.
Scriven, C.M. Wortley, R.P.  



Franks, T.A. Pangallo, F. Simms, R.A. (teller)


Amendment thus carried; motion as amended carried.