The State Government's key heritage adviser, the Heritage Council, does not want the heritage-listed Florence Hummerston kiosk to be removed to make way for the $440 million Elizabeth Quay redevelopment.
Heritage Minister John Castrilli's confirmation yesterday that the council "preferred it to remain in-situ and be integrated with the development" prompted calls from the Opposition for the Government to make public the council's full advice on the project.
It also comes after confirmation from the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority that archaeological excavations in five test areas last month unearthed artefacts including bottles thought to date from the mid-1890s to 1910s, glass fragments and "timber elements".
The Government has repeatedly said the Heritage Council supported the project, but has refused to make public its advice.
However, Mr Castrilli told a Budget estimates hearing last month that the council did not support removing the kiosk, though it accepted there was "no prudent or feasible alternative".
The kiosk formerly housed the Grand Palace restaurant and is now the subject of compensation negotiations between the Government and the former lessee.
A tender to "deconstruct" the kiosk has been let for about $1.35 million as part of a $50 million forward works budget. Shadow heritage minister John Hyde said yesterday it was an extraordinary cost and in ignoring the council's advice "it calls into question whether the Heritage Council actually has any teeth under this Government".
"It is incredulous that they have gone against the advice not to deconstruct (the kiosk)," he said, adding there was no plan yet on where it will be rebuilt.
But Mr Castrilli said the council had supported several referrals "subject to conditions" and its advice focused on ensuring "the layers of history associated with the place are told through interpretation in both the public and private realms".MRA chief executive Kieran Kinsella said while "some artefacts were found that reflect the history of the area", no significant archaeological remains were identified to warrant further investigation.
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.