In case there is any doubt about what minister Stirling Hinchliffe said about the now-destroyed Regent gargoyles, here is what he told 612ABC on December 14, 2010: Click here for audio.
The full interview can be found here.
Update: here's how Channel Ten news covered the story:
Another heartbreaking picture (below) for heritage lovers. A grotesque from the Elizabeth Street facade of the Regent lies shattered among the rubble. The picture at right shows it in its original form. In this statement, Minister Stirling Hinchcliffe said: "The Regent Theatre’s foyer, box office, marble stair case, gargoyles, sign, lanterns and some furniture will be retained and restored under a State Government Heritage Management Plan (HMP), Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Stirling Hinchliffe announced today. ... [the HMP] stipulates artefacts such as the gargoyles, some of the lanterns, the paintings and much of the furnishings will be re-used in the new development". (Our emphasis.)
A witness says that the demolition crew at the Regent is using machines to demolish a wall adjoining the Heritage-protected grand foyer, in apparent contravention of the heritage management plan which says this work must be done by hand.
This still from video footage taken today shows a machine working on a corner wall. The white section is directly above the grand staircase in the foyer.
This would appear to be at odds with the Heritage Management plan, as follows:
ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT AUSTRALIA REGENT_HERITAGE MANAGEMENT PLAN/FINAL_V3/6 DECEMBER 2010
It is proposed that the brick masonry west wall of the “cinema box”, that flanks each side of the Grand Foyer, will be cut at the junction of the Grand Foyer transverse walls and demolished.
Policy 32: This demolition work should be carried out by hand to ensure no physical or vibration damage occurs to the fabric of the Grand Foyer.
The video footage also appears to show holes in plastic sheeting that is supposed to protect the foyer from the elements.
Update Premier Anna Bligh and Mayor Graham Quirk have both responded to STR concerns on Twitter. Brisbane City Council compliance officers will investigate.