National Trust to call Ayers House home again following landmark decision

South Australia’s National Trust will return to Ayers House with the passing of the Ayers House Bill through Parliament last night.

The SA Government has officially passed the Ayers House Bill through Parliament, securing a permanent home for the National Trust of South Australia at Ayers House.

This move marks the culmination of efforts to provide vital support to the Trust in its mission to preserve and promote the state’s rich heritage.

“The National Trust extends its sincere gratitude to the Minister and the government for their support of The Ayers House bill,” Paul Leadbeter, President, National Trust of South Australia, says.

“This is a significant moment in the National Trust’s history and its pursuit of promoting and educating the community about our State’s unique heritage.

“The Ayers House Act ensures the symbiotic relationship between the Trust and Ayers House will continue and prosper into the future, and enable people to visit, understand and enjoy the building in all its intended capacities.”

The Ayers House Bill aims to facilitate the National Trust’s return to Ayers House, enabling it to generate income crucial for sustaining its activities. The Trust, which had operated at Ayers House for nearly half a century, faced closure following its eviction by the former Liberal government minister David Speirs.

Now, boasting over 1000 volunteers and 5000 members, the Trust has made substantial contributions, equivalent to millions of dollars, towards heritage conservation and education initiatives. The establishment of Ayers House as the Trust’s permanent residence, as outlined in the Ayers House Bill, solidifies its responsibility for the property’s maintenance.

Former premier Don Dunstan’s visionary gesture of granting Ayers House to the Trust as a permanent home underscores the enduring commitment to preserving South Australia’s cultural legacy. His invitation for the Trust to partake in the restoration, furnishing, and public presentation of the house as a museum, restaurant, and function centre reflects a shared dedication to heritage conservation.

In line with this commitment, the Government has allocated $5.7 million towards the restoration and enhancement of Ayers House. This investment aims to ensure the accessibility of this iconic site to all, reaffirming its significance as a cultural and historical landmark.

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