MP introduces motion into parliament to stop the sale of three churches


Lyons Labor MHA Jen Butler.

The state government is being urged to intervene to stop the sale of three historic northern Tasmanian churches.

Lyons Labor MP Jen Butler has tabled a motion in the House of Assembly calling on the Minister for Heritage to stop the closure of St Mary’s at Hagley, St Andrew’s at Westbury and St Andrew’s Carrick by the Anglican Church.

“These churches are of irreplaceable significance to Tasmania’s heritage and must be protected,” Ms Butler said.

She said the Anglican Church has voted to proceed with a plan to sell 76 Churches to partly fund the redress scheme.

“We acknowledge support for the redress scheme,” Ms Butler said.

“But we must acknowledge the significant historical importance of St Marys Church at Hagley, St Andrews Church at Westbury and St Andrews Church in Carrick.”

She said St Marys Church in Hagley was built in 1861 by Sir Richard Dry, one of our founding fathers, the first Tasmanian born Premier, Speaker of the House and the first Tasmanian to be knighted. “

Sir Richard Dry, part of the ‘Patriotic six’ stopped the transportation of convicts to Tasmania and later introduced mandatory public education,” Ms Butler said.

“Sir Richard Dry is buried underneath the chancel at St Marys Church, Hagley.”

She said St Andrews Church at Westbury included the largest collection of works by internationally renowned wood carver Ellen Nora (Nellie) Payne including the magnificent Seven Sisters Screen, church pulpit, prayer desk and altar.

“We call upon the Minister for Heritage to stop the closure and sale of the Quamby Parish churches and other significant historical churches based on their irreplaceable significance to Tasmania’s heritage,” Ms Butler.

A Government spokesman said the sale of churches was a matter for the Anglican Church to determine.

“The Tasmanian Government has acted swiftly in moving to conduct a review of the Burial Act, and is committed to preserving, protecting and clarifying both the rights of community members and the obligations on cemetery managers,” the spokesperson said.


JUNE 12 2018

Sue Bailey - The Examiner