Wednesday 25 July 2012

Remains of historic Rex Theatre to be demolished

A significant piece of history is gone according to Cairns Councillor Max O’Halloran, as a decision is made to demolish the remains of the historic Rex Theatre on Sheridan Street.

Cairns Regional Council has approved the demolition of the remnants of the heritage-listed Rex Theatre.

At today’s Council meeting, Councillors acknowledged that the heritage value of the building’s façade had been significantly diminished by unapproved demolition – which is the subject of legal action launched by Cairns Regional Council this month.

Division 7 Councillor Max O’Halloran said it was a shame that such a significant piece of Cairns’ history had been lost.

“There are a lot of people disappointed at what has occurred on this site,” Max O’Halloran said. “The Rex Theatre held memories for many people and is a part of our city’s history. It is a condition of the demolition that any new development on that site recognises the history of the previous building, be it through a plaque, building name or otherwise.”

The Rex Theatre was identified in the CairnsPlan as a Local Heritage Site, unlike the 103-year-old waterfront Cairns Yacht Club that was demolished by the Labor State Government three years ago.

Mayor Bob Manning said the decision to allow full demolition was necessary.

“We really had no choice, considering the extent of the demolition that has already taken place,” Bob Manning said. “The structural integrity of what is left of the façade is cause for concern and complete demolition is considered to be the most appropriate option.”

A complaint lodged by Cairns Regional Council in relation to the unapproved demolition is expected to be mentioned in the Cairns Magistrate Court on August 16th.


Eve said...

For shame council. Eldav Properties should have been made an example of, not given exactly what they wanted. When is someone in the council going to start having some foresight and begin to preserve the uniqueness of our home. There are so many benefits to preserving the history of Cairns, not the least of which is the value add to our tourism industry. I am tired of seeing developers with no connection to Cairns frivolously destroying its history. My entire household is in shock that this has been allowed to happen!!!

Wendy Davie said...

Butch "Screwdriver" Manning has shown his small town ignorance once again. Facades of historical importance have been used effectively all over Australia. Contruction procedes behind and secures the valuable facade. Shame Cairns Regional Council, shame for your ignorance Manning and all who supported this destruction.
Are the owners being prosecuted for contravening the original directive to maintain the building?

:Kevin-John: Morgan. said...

What makes anyone think that the council will do the right thing?
For instance, the Aquatic Club, then becoming the Cairns Yacht Club, was of historic significance, World Wide, but did the council step in, NO!!!
Nobody gives a rat's butt anymore about history or heritage, least of all the council.