Help Save the Historic and Heritage-listed Thebarton Police Barracks!

Help Save the Historic and Heritage-listed Thebarton Police Barracks!

29 September 2022
Petition to
Peter Malinauskas (Premier of South Australia)
Signatures: 2,256Next goal: 2,500
Support now

Why this petition matters

Started by Alexander C

The State Government of South Australia has announced its intention to build a new Women’s and Children’s Hospital upon a site belonging to the Heritage-listed Thebarton Mounted Police Barracks - a complex of Historic buildings located alongside the Old Adelaide Gaol (1841). They were constructed in 1917 and have been home to mounted and foot police ever since.

These premises are of historic significance to South Australia, and have a distinct connection to the South Australian Mounted Police Cadre, established in 1838, making it the oldest in Australia, and potentially the oldest in the world. The barracks remain in use for a variety of policing purposes, including the mounted police and dog squads, both of which  require a central city location for rapid deployment. These premises are also home to the South Australian Police Museum, Intelligence Unit, Road Traffic Education Service, administrative offices and more.

Included in this Government-initiated disregard for our unique state history is the intention to destroy the 160+ year old Olive Groves, planted and cared for by the prisoners of Old Adelaide Gaol in 1862. These thriving trees with their hardy, rugged beauty serve as a symbolic reminder of the severity of the Colonial justice system, and of the lives that successfully passed through the gates of the Gaol, leaving as better people, seeking to make their contribution to the city and story of Adelaide.

Despite South Australian Deputy Premier Susan Close’s insistence that our State Government has “absolutely no intention of knocking over any State Heritage place”, these words are now void of any assurance of the protection for any Heritage-listed properties in South Australia. 

This latest example of the rampant destruction of our heritage in South Australia sets a dangerous precedent that has seen much loss of Heritage buildings, green and open air spaces. The recent comment by South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas that these buildings are “not Bonython Hall”, possesses an elitist tone that denigrates the role of 19th century workers’ cottages, bridges and other structures in our heritage and history. To claim that this change in legislation is a one-off is disingenuous, as the precedent has already been set.

The advanced and sophisticated development of the released plans indicate this has been a long time in the making, and there was never an attempt to find alternative solutions, also depriving the citizens of South Australia the right to voice their concerns or form an opinion before any action would be taken.

The government is intent on developing a new Women’s and Children’s Hospital on a site that is home to these priceless structures, when there are countless more viable and better suited locations to build and expand upon in the future, and better serve our city while NOT posing a threat to our irreplaceable State Heritage.

These heritage buildings are unique.

They have a distinct and special connection to the history of protection and security of the citizens of Adelaide.

They are among the last survivors of their kind within our state, and they must be preserved and protected for future generations.

The repercussions of what is taking place here will lead to devastating outcomes for other Heritage-listed structures throughout South Australia. 

Send a message to Premier Malinauskas. Sign our petition to save the Thebarton Mounted Police Barracks.

Support now
Signatures: 2,256Next goal: 2,500
Support now

Decision makers

  • Peter MalinauskasPremier of South Australia