Government blueprint for demolishing local heritage protection
The State Government has released a discussion paper on local heritage protection without so much as a news release to explain its intention or the process for public consultation on the radical and damaging ‘reforms’ to our State’s heritage protection system it proposes. As reported in the media, the Government’s paper and rushed approach to public consultation, has already raised great concern. The National Trust is calling for an open and comprehensive public debate on the future of local heritage protection.
After repeatedly promising to consult the community about proposed changes to heritage protection under the Government’s new planning laws, the discussion paper appeared without warning in late August, with those who received it given just a few weeks to respond to the many far reaching proposals contained within.
The paper was published on the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure website. Posing as the result of the earlier consultation on the Government’s planning reforms, the paper is full of assertions and arguments unsupported by evidence and includes a number ideas which would destroy the heritage protections developed over 40 years.
Our system of local heritage protection, designed to give communities a say in what is protected, has generally served South Australia well despite the Government’s failure to implement its provisions effectively or in line with community expectations. The Government is using its own administrative failures as an argument to dismantle our local heritage protection system and to centralise all decision making under the Department and Minister who have repeatedly failed to act on hundreds of recommendations for local heritage protection from local councils and communities.
South Australia has generally had an effective heritage protection system since the late 1970s, which has saved many of our most unique and treasured places from neglect or destruction. A few narrow vested interests have persistently sought to diminish our local heritage protection and it is these voices who speak loudest in the Government’s paper.
What the Government is proposing will:
- Make it harder to list local heritage places
- Exclude the community and local councils from decision making
- Make it easier to demolish places that are listed
- Remove heritage protection from thousands of properties listed as contributory items or in heritage conservation zones
- Centralise all heritage protection in the State Government planning department.
You can download the Government’s Discussion Paper here and see for yourself
The National Trust has prepared an initial response entitled Heritage Under Threat which you can download here Heritage Under Threat
Please take the time to read Heritage Under Threat and find out what is at risk if the government proceeds with these dangerous and unnecessary changes.
Take our survey to share your views about the Government’s proposals here:
Share this page with others and speak to people in your community. Dozens of community organisations are already questioning the Government’s approach and its failure to set up a proper public consultation on the radical proposals it now advocates.
We need to ensure that the Government and Planning Minister John Rau listen to communities when we say we want our local heritage protected.
You can also share your thoughts and favorite local heritage places on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/loveyourlocalheritage or in the comments section below.