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11 August, 2021

Malanda history in jeporady

MALANDA residents are making a desperate plea to get a 1940s era building registered in the Queensland Heritage Register, asking locals to put forward letters of support.

By Rhys Thomas

Malanda locals have been pushing for their community hall the Patrick English Pavilion to be heritage listed.

MALANDA residents are making a desperate plea to get a 1940s era building registered in the Queensland Heritage Register, asking locals to put forward letters of support. 

The Patrick English Pavilion in Malanda has been a gathering place of local significance since the 1940’s where it has held a number of important events over the years. 

Now, with the pavilion in disrepair and under threat of demolition, the Malanda community has banded together to save their local community hall. 

The years have not been kind to the pavilion with sever structural damages including the wooden trusses and truss bases which have sustained major deterioration over time. 

Tablelands Regional Council (TRC) has proposed to build a new multi-purpose centre to consolidate the facilities currently at the Malanda Showgrounds. 

“The community needs modern, fit-for-purpose facilities that meet the requirements of a broad range of users,” TRC Councillor Dave Bilney said.

“We have engaged widely with the Malanda community about the future of facilities in our region and look forward to working with them to further develop the plans.” 

The Patrick English Pavilion has been listed in TRC’s local heritage overlay however this overlay only relates to development and not maintenance. 

In the Heritage overlay code it states that “this code applies to assessing material change of use, building work, reconfiguring a lot or operational work for development within the heritage overlay.” 

However, every council managed building must be maintained by council and the pavilion is no exception, but the sheer scale of the damage done to the pavilion cannot be easily maintained by council without exuberant costs. 

It will cost TRC over $2 million to repair the pavilion which during the process will have to be nearly completely redone. 

A Department of Environment and Science Spokesperson said that the Patrick English Pavilion has been identified as a local heritage place in a heritage overlay in the Tablelands Regional Council’s 2016 Planning Scheme. 

“Under the Queensland Heritage Act 1992, a place can be entered in the heritage register if it meets any one of the eight specific cultural heritage criteria for entry, which are set out in the Heritage Act,” they said. 

“DES undertakes a careful assessment of places and must make a recommendation about State-level cultural heritage significance.

“In this instance, DES’s recommendation recognises the local cultural heritage significance of the pavilion.” 

Despite its local significance the Patrick English Pavilion does not meet any of the eight criteria required to be registered. 

In the recommendation prepared by DES to the Queensland Heritage Council they recommended not to enter the pavilion in the register. 

This decision was made on the grounds that “It’s (the pavilion) removal from its original camp site, conversion to a different use and substantial alterations mean that it no longer clearly demonstrates its original context, function, building form or characteristic details.” 

TRC agrees with this reasoning stating they do not support the application for the heritage listing. 

“We (TRC) do not support the application for state heritage listing of the Patrick English Pavilion in Malanda and support the Department of Environment and Science’s recommendation that the pavilion is not entered in the Queensland Heritage Register for the reasons they stated,” Councillor Bilney said. 

“We further oppose the heritage listing because of the condition of the pavilion and the costs to repair and maintain it.”

A final decision is yet to be made as the Queensland Heritage Council will have the final verdict after their September 3 or October 8, 2021 meetings.

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