Here we go again

State Government starts another attempt to privatise Martindale Hall


Contrary to commitments made from Opposition before the last State election, the Liberal Government has quietly introduced a bill to the Parliament to prepare Martindale hall for future privatisation. The bill seeks to abolish the Martindale Hall Conservation Park and to extinguish the charitable trust established by the gift of the Hall to the people of South Australia.  It is a gross breach of public trust and sets a dangerous precedent for all conservation and national parks and public bequests.

The bill is dressed up as offering greater protection for the building and its contents, but the effect of the bill -were it to pass the parliament- would be to give the Environment Minister the power to gift the property to the highest bidder without public input.  Future public access would be determined at the discretion of the Minister.

The bill is an unprecedented attempt to remove the future control and management of one of our most cherished heritage places into private hands.

Martindale Hall belongs to all South Australians, it was a gift to all of us.

We have been through this before, in 2016, when the previous government gave consideration to a proposal to convert it to a private luxury resort.  A huge public outcry from across Australia ensured that the resort proposal did not proceed.

Anne Lambert, star of the film Picnic at Hanging Rock, filmed at Martindale Hall joined the campaign to keep Martindale Hall for the people:

In 2016 the National Trust put forward a proposal for how it could create a world class tourism attraction and attract more than 100,000 visitors annually and give one of the State’s jewels the prominence it deserves. The National Trust proposal would invest in the site to develop amenities, attractions and events and will preserve the buildings in accordance with the terms of the original bequest to the people of South Australia.  It has sat on the table for five years.  Now is the time to make it a reality.

We need you to join us once again in telling the government Martindale Hall is not theirs to give away and to support the National Trust’s vision for a world class heritage tourism destination like Sovereign Hill in Victoria or National Trust properties in the UK.

Please sign and share our petition to parliament to secure the future of Martindale Hall forever.


Email:, call (08) 8202 9200 or  support our proposal on Facebook

*Please click here to download a summary of the National Trust proposal.

Martindale Hall has its origins in the Lake District of England.  The name Martindale was borrowed by Edmund Bowman from the valley near Dalemain Estate from which his family traced its origins back to the sixteenth century.

Jane Hasell-McCosh, current owner of Dalemain Estate tells the story


The National Trust has won support for its proposal for Martindale Hall from around the world.

Dame Fiona Reynolds, former Director of the National Trust in England and current Chair of the International National Trusts Organisation offers her support to keep Martindale Hall for the People.


The National Trust has been protecting, preserving and promoting South Australia’s heritage for more than 60 years.

We are the largest non-government operator of heritage places in Australia.

We manage 130 heritage places across the State and a range of tourist destinations and experiences, including Visitor Information Centres, local museums, accommodation and walking trails and mobile apps.  We have managed one of the State’s major heritage properties, Ayers House, in Adelaide for 50 years.

We are part of a national and international network of National Trust organisations, the world’s largest and most recognised heritage attraction operator in the world.

Our capacity is greatly enhanced by our membership base of 5,000 South Australians, 60,000 across Australia and more than six million worldwide.  In addition we rely on the dedication and work of more than 1,000 registered volunteers in South Australia who work with us to advocate for our heritage, manage properties and deliver visitor experiences.


Call to action section

We need your support to make our vision a reality.

Will you join us to help keep Martindale Hall for the people?

Click here and show your support

Related content section

Martindale Hall Estate, National Trust's vision to create a world class heritage based tourism attraction.