Future of Entally on hold

LEASE negotiations for Entally Estate are under way, however it could take months before the successful new leaseholder is announced, according to the state government.

The state government says lease negotiations for historic Entally House are under way, but warns it could take months before the deal is sealed.  Picture: PHILLIP BIGGS

The state government says lease negotiations for historic Entally House are under way, but warns it could take months before the deal is sealed. Picture: PHILLIP BIGGS

Independent Rosevears MLC Kerry Finch asked the Legislative Council about the future of the estate yesterday.

He said volunteers were worried that the government had not guaranteed that the historical significance of the site would be maintained and that it would remain freely accessible to the public, like it has been for the past 64 years.

The state government called for expressions of interest to lease the property last October, after it decided to drop the historic Hadspen site from the Parks and Wildlife Service portfolio.

 The Examiner  revealed in January that Virgin Australia co-founder and Quamby Estate owner Rob Sherrard looked set to take over the lease and give the property a new lease of life, however no official announcement has been made.

Attorney-General Vanessa Goodwin said as Entally Estate was permanently entered on the Tasmanian Heritage Register, it would continue to receive afforded statutory protection regardless of who owned or managed it.

She said an independent audit of the house's management had been completed and ``the best option for Entally is sought to be a long-term lease to a certain party''.

``Minister [Matthew] Groom has considered the recommendations from the stage two assessment report . . . and has approved proceedings to the lease negotiation stage with the preferred party,'' Dr Goodwin said.

``An announcement on the preferred proponent will be made once the negotiations on the fundamental terms of the lease are complete.''

She said the lease negotiations could take months to complete and during that time Parks and Wildlife would continue to manage the site.

Entally closed for its winter break on Sunday and it is unknown when it will re-open.

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