Trad: Why are our heritage sites mysteriously burning down?
DEPUTY Premier Jackie Trad has weighed into the debate about the future of an iconic Brisbane pub linked to beleaguered businessman Seb Monsour after it was destroyed by a suspicious fire.
Police and firefighters were called to the Broadway Hotel on Logan Rd at Woolloongabba early yesterday and found it engulfed by flames.
A passer-by walking her dog raised the alarm at around 12.40am, reporting a loud explosion and large flames spurting from the abandoned heritage-listed pub.
Investigators spent the day combing the scene for a cause of the blaze, which broke out on the top storeys, collapsing the roof.
Ms Trad yesterday called on Brisbane City Council to apply "stringent conditions" to any future development application on the site, which is in her South Brisbane electorate.
She said such conditions should include the pub being restored to its original form.
"I think Queenslanders are sick of seeing heritage sites fall into disrepair or (being) mysteriously burnt down overnight," she said. "I don't think anything should be built there until the pub is built back to its original form."
The building's owner Majella Property Developments - headed by Mr Monsour - had been planning a $260 million 27-storey tower on top part of the existing building, but scrapped the plans in July amid a community backlash.
There is no suggestion Mr Monsour is in any way linked to the fire.
At the time, Mr Monsour - who is the brother-in-law of former Queensland premier Campbell Newman - said he would enter a new design process before submitting a new development application.
Mr Monsour is facing $10 million in fraud charges related to payments from overseas investors in three Australian investment funds.
BCC City Planning Chairman Matthew Bourke said the council was eager for the pub to be restored to its "former glory".
But he argued the State Government was responsible for enforcing the maintenance of the building because of its state-listed heritage status.
"The State Government is responsible for conducting ongoing enforcement to have the building's heritage features maintained or repaired, such as in the instance of a fire, and would also condition any development applications to preserve the building in accordance with its heritage listing," he said.