Archive for February, 2010

Approval to wreck high-rise


The Mercury, February 26, 2010

HOPES of saving a government high-rise may have been crushed with permission granted to demolish 10 Murray St.

Work is set to start on the redevelopment of the historic Parliament Square project within three months.But supporters of the building, who have described it as an “architectural gem”, may still have a chance within a 14-day appeal period with the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal.

The concrete and steel building will make way for a multi-million-dollar Federation Square-inspired design featuring an open public space, wooden-facade office block and rejuvenation of the decaying sandstone buildings that border both Murray St and Davey St.

The design by Citta Property Group was picked from three shortlisted designs and will sit behind the historic Parliament House building.

In keeping with true Federation Square style, the design also features a massive television screen in its courtyard.

While lead architect Richard Francis-Jones has said he looked at ways to modernise 10 Murray, but concluded that it was a “very poor building” and should be knocked down, there was a groundswell of support to try to save the building.



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Govt pours $25m into offices


The Mercury, February 11, 2010

THE Bartlett Government has approved an extra $25 million of funding to decorate plush new offices for its Cabinet ministers.

And senior bureaucrats at a time when state health, hospital and disability budgets are being pruned and cut

The Government’s latest financial report reveals it plans to spend $25.5 million over the next three years furnishing and fitting out government offices in the soon-to-constructed $100 million Parliament Square development close to Hobart’s waterfront.

But no public announcement has yet been made by the Government explaining its lavish spending plans for its new offices.

Most other changed spending priorities earmarked in the latest December financial figures such as extra money for frontline nurses, teachers, police and park rangers have been unveiled with great fanfare by the Bartlett Government as pre-election sweeteners.


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A letter published in The Mercury, 10 February, 2010.

Square deal

I read with interest Briony Kidd’s letter on the proposed demolition of 10 Murray Street (February 6).  The real reason the developers are demolishing is because they bought the Parliament Square block for just $7 million.  Treasurer Michael Aird spruiked the deal in terms of a $100 million development.  Well of course they could spend this amount when they were given it for virtually nothing.

Now we are getting a bizarre new office block built out of recycled timber plus even more paving.  Some believe that anything would be better than 10 Murray St and the Health Department building.  Well, don’t believe it.

Tim Beaumont


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A letter published in The Mercury, 8 February, 2010.

Good buildings

While I support plans to convert sections of the Parliament Square precinct to a public space, I am concerned about the proposed demolition of 10 Murray St and the former Printing Authority of Tasmania.

Both buildings reflect social and achitectural aspirations of the mid 20th century.  They are excellent examples of their brutalist and art deco styles.  Demolition would deny future generations the chance to truly appreciate Hobart’s diversity of architectural styles.

Both buildings are situated in prime business locations.  They could be converted (especially the now empty Printing Authority building) into commercial or residential use, helping to maintain a vibrant CBD while demonstrating how adaptive re-use can help minimise the effects of urban sprawl.  I believe the core objectives of the development proposal would still be achievable by retaining these buildings.

Thomas Liam-Ryan


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A letter published in The Mercury, 6 February, 2010.

Wasteful demolition
In regards to the proposed demolition of 10 Murray St, we would like to remind the public that the deadline to comment on the Parliament Square proposal is February 10.  Comment can be made via email to the Sullivans Cove Waterfront Authority

For those who would like more information about the plans and why demolition is deemed appropriate, note that a copy of the development application has recently been posted to the authority’s website.

No. 10 Murray Street is one of Hobart’s best modern buildings.  It is in good condition and, with retrofitting, could be useful for many years to come. Demolition in this case is wasteful and contrary to the principles of environmentally sustainable development.

We quote one of the architects of the building, Dirk Bolt, who eloquently sums up our position:  “Without collective memory there is no collective identity. So ‘old’ buildings are not burdens but identity props –take them away and we become mindless movers on the autobahn of time.”

Briony Kidd

Spokesperson, Save 10 Murray

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