Tuesday, 28 November 2023
THE installation of the promised and long-awaited access lift in the historic Old Armidale Teachers’ College building has been questioned in State Parliament by Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, who is seeking a firm delivery timeframe from the government for the important project.
“Despite an access lift being promised, designed and costed by the Department of Education last year, the community has seen no activity and no progress on the works,” Mr Marshall said.
“The 94-year-old Old Teachers’ College is one of Armidale’s most iconic heritage buildings but it has no lifts to facilitate smooth access for people with disabilities or mobility issues to the many events and performances held.
“Locals are concerned that with the change of government earlier in the year this project may have fallen through the cracks – this cannot be allowed to happen.
“The access lift project must proceed as quickly as possible and in putting down these questions to the Minister, I’m hoping it will force the Department to get cracking.”
Mr Marshall said a list in the building had been long-sought by the community, especially the New England Conservatorium of Music, which holds many concerts and community events in the auditorium and performance spaces and the Friends of the Old Teachers’ College.
“A lift would not just drastically improve access for all members of the community, it would also help the Conservatorium move musical equipment and large instruments to and from the first floor for performances and lessons,” he said.
“The Friends of the Old Teachers’ College has raised well over $120,000 to go towards the installation of a lift, which has been graciously offered by them to the Department to help get the project moving.
“I have asked the Minister to shed light on to provide information on the current plans install a lift, as well as the location and costings associated with the project.
“The community and I look forward to the Minister’s response, which will hopefully see work get underway very soon.”
Mr Marshall’s question to the Minister for Education in State Parliament was:
Regarding the installation of an access lift in the Old Armidale Teachers’ College building:
1. Does the Department of Education have any plans to proceed with the installation of an access lift in the Old Armidale Teachers’ College;
2. How much will the project cost?
3. Has the Friends of the Old Teachers’ College offered funds to the project?
a) If yes, will this offer be taken up by the Department?
4. Is the Department still planning to install the lift in the rear western corner of the building?
Hon. Adam Marshall MP
Member for Northern Tablelands
23 November 2023