Are you listening yet, Mr Rau?
In August last year the state Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure released an eight-page discussion paper that threatened to upset the entire system of local heritage protection. Many people objected not only to the provocative content, but to the ridiculously brief 4-week period allowed for public consultation.
Under pressure, the department extended the deadline by four weeks. By 7 October nearly 200 submissions had been received from councils, residents’ societies, National Trust branches and individuals. The unintended result was the largest survey of public opinion on heritage ever conducted in this state. Apart from showing overwhelming community support for local heritage, the consultation generated a public record of historic significance.
Ten months on, the Government has made no formal response to the hundreds of people who took the trouble to make submissions on the DPTI discussion paper. Planning Minister John Rau is still cagey about his plans for the future protection of our local heritage.
In the absence of any Government response to this community consultation, the National Trust has compiled a detailed summary of all of the submissions made in response to the Government’s proposals. You can view or download the full report here.
Overwhelmingly, the submissions reveal that South Australians want to retain and strengthen our existing system of heritage protection. The Minister is seriously out of step with what the community wants and appears not to be listening to their views.
We encourage you to read the report and make your own assessment.
We urge you to ask the Premier to pay attention to what the public is saying, even if his Planning Minister isn’t listening.
You can also tell us what you think below and share your love of local heritage on Facebook/loveyourlocalheritage