2018 Election Policy Platform: Valuing Our Heritage
South Australia’s heritage is unique, priceless and irreplaceable. The National Trust advocates for a best use approach to maximise the economic, social, cultural and environmental benefits of caring for and valuing our heritage. Valuing and caring for our heritage is a shared responsibility between individuals, government and the community.
We propose the following policies and initiatives to strengthen heritage protections, to grow investment in heritage and to increase community participation in heritage conservation.
South Australia’s built heritage protection system has served us well for 40 years. We have been a national leader in ensuring that our heritage is recognised and preserved. However, recent planning legislation and government proposals have created uncertainty and confusion about the future of our built heritage protection system. Heritage protection in South Australia needs to be strengthened and simplified through:
Heritage policy and legislation
- Including all heritage matters within a single Heritage Act.
- Establishing a single integrated statutory body to handle all heritage matters.
- Management of heritage protection independently of the planning system.
- Reviewing the capacity and resources of the State Heritage Council.
Simplifying heritage listing
- Establishing an integrated single heritage register covering all listings, managed by an independent statutory body.
- Retention of all current listings, including heritage protection zones and contributory items.
- Streamlining of listing criteria whilst having regard for local characteristics.
- Simplified and streamlined process for new listings which includes mandatory timeframes for listing (with automatic listing if timeframes are not met) and gazettal of approved listings.
- Removal of legislative requirement for property owners to vote for establishment of heritage conservation zones.
Regulating development of heritage listed places
- Classification of applications for demolition of listed buildings as non-complying and automatic rejection if the building has been neglected intentionally.
- Minor works on heritage listed places exempted from planning approval in well defined circumstances.
- Mandating of a Heritage Code of Practice for adaptation of heritage buildings.
- Increased penalties for neglect of heritage listed structures.
Protecting special places
- Protecting the Adelaide Park Lands as public open space through comprehensive statutory protection.
- Pursuing national heritage listing for Ayers House, Edmund Wright House, Fort Largs and Martindale Hall.
- Returning Glenthorne Farm to community use.
There is much evidence that private and public investment in heritage assets generates significant direct and indirect returns. South Australia’s built heritage has experienced insufficient investment due to outdated regulation, a lack of incentives for private owners and inadequate government leadership and investment. The National Trust believes investment in maximising the value of our heritage assets can be achieved by:
Managing government-owned heritage assets more strategically and efficiently
- Reviewing the management and use of State Government-owned heritage assets.
- Adopting a strategic approach to investment in and utilisation of government-owned heritage assets.
- Providing leadership to local government on effective protection, conservation and utilisation of heritage assets.
Promoting private investment through incentives and support for private owners of heritage places
- Providing incentives to assist heritage building owners to conserve their properties.
- Improving availability of heritage grants, expert advice and specialist skills.
- Flexibility in decisions on land use and land division.
- Flexible application of building regulations for adaptation of heritage places.
- Promoting rate rebate programs and other fee and tax concessions for private owners.
Working with local government and non-government organisations to co-invest in South Australia’s heritage assets
- Establishing a rolling investment fund for publicly owned heritage assets in regional South Australia.
- Supporting heritage advisory services for home owners through local government and the National Trust.
- Supporting heritage skills trade training through the Australian Artisan Trades Academy.
Recognising and supporting heritage tourism
- Implementing a heritage tourism strategy for South Australia, with a focus on regional areas.
Investing in nature conservation
- Reform Natural Resource Management administration to ensure greater investment in on-ground nature conservation works.
Communities across South Australia have a strong, long standing commitment to the preservation of our heritage. In many places, non-government organisations like the National Trust have taken a leading role in advocating for, protecting and conserving the state’s heritage. Local heritage is what is valued by local people and is best identified and managed within local communities. Heritage conservation activities activate and generate community social capital. Recent changes to planning laws have aimed to remove local communities and individuals from many of the decisions that affect heritage conservation. Instead of excluding communities from decisions about our heritage, we need to extend community participation and engagement to maximise the social, cultural economic and environmental benefits of recognising and caring for our heritage.
We need to find new ways for individuals and communities to be involved in heritage conservation and to restore community rights in respect to planning decisions which affect heritage places.
Restoring the role of local communities in local heritage listing and management
- Increasing community participation in the decision making process through an open public nomination system for local heritage listing.
- Greater transparency in decision making through the provision of reasons for listing or non-listing.
- Introducing third party appeal rights in relation to local heritage listing decisions.
- Resourcing local heritage surveys and management plans for local councils that have not completed them.
- Restricting ministerial powers to remove or disallow heritage listings.
Reinstating citizen and community rights in planning and development decisions
- Amending the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 to restore lost community consultation and appeal rights within the planning system in the assessment of development proposals.
Working with the National Trust to maximise community participation
The National Trust is the State’s leading non-government heritage conservation organisation, with more than 6 000 members and volunteers across the State. For sixty years the Trust has played a leading role in preserving South Australia’s heritage. It manages 130 built and natural heritage places across the State and has, in the past three years, raised more than $2.5m for heritage conservation projects in South Australia through the South Australian Heritage Foundation. The Trust plays a valuable role in property management, community engagement, fundraising and skills training. We propose the following ways for the Trust to extend its work for the state’s heritage:
- Entrusting the management/ownership of the following government owned heritage places to the National Trust:
- Ayers House
- Martindale Hall
- Edmund Wright House
- Crown Land properties that have been managed and maintained by the Trust for decades.
- Utilising tax deductible conservation fundraising appeals through the South Australian Heritage Foundation for public buildings owned by state and local government.
- Leading heritage trade training in the state through the new Australian Artisan Trades Academy.
Protecting our natural heritage
- Supporting volunteers and community organisations to deliver environmental conservation programs by reinstating State funding for on ground conservation works by community organisations.
Keep up to date with all the latest developments in the lead up to the 2018 election here
Read full responses from each of the parties in the latest issue of Heritage Living, now online