Mrs ARMITAGE question to the Leader of Government in the Legislative Council, Dr Goodwin
Can the Leader please advise -
(1) As Entally House/Estate is owned by the Tasmanian Government and therefore the people of Tasmania, will the Government ensure adequate financial support for the continued maintenance and preservation of the property?
(2) As the proposed lessee of Entally House/Estate, while not formally stating his intentions, has suggested the possibility of developing accommodation, a restaurant, cellar door wine sales and an event venue, what is the guarantee by the Government that the level of access to the house and its historical significance as currently exists, will continue?
(3) What is the Government's definition of public access?
(4) Does the Government believe public access, as currently exists, should continue with regards to Entally House/Estate and is this part of the lease agreement?
Mr President, I thank the honourable member for Launceston for her question.
(1) An audit of the Entally House operations was completed by the Parks and Wildlife Service which concluded that the best option for Entally is a long-term lease to a third party. An expression of interest process seeking interest for the management of the Entally Estate Historic Site commenced in October 2013.
(2) Lease negotiations with a preferred party are now proceeding. An announcement will be made once the negotiations on the terms of the lease are complete.
(3) Presently, Entally House is open for public access during the summer months for a defined period each day. The Government is working closely with the preferred party to maximise the ongoing availability of the property to the general public under new lease arrangements which are currently being negotiated.
(4) The business model that has been presented by the preferred party is one that will involve the grounds and many of the buildings being open to the public on a regular and ongoing basis. The lease when finalised will contain prescriptions around the minimum number of days per year that the property must be open to the public. The Government is committed to ensuring a management arrangement is put in place that provides for the long-term conservation of the site, for ongoing public access and for an ongoing role for volunteers and not-for-profit groups. The Parks and Wildlife Service will continue to oversee management of the site until any lease negotiations are concluded.