2018 candidate for Mid Murray Council.
Heritage survey responses.
Do you agree that the identification and protection of local heritage places is best done by local councils rather than DPTI (Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure)?
From what I have seen and been involved in, Mid Murray Council protects it's heritage if it is good for tourism and demolished if it is in the way of developers. When one past councilor owned a significant home in Mannum, "Esmeralda", that was listed on the local heritage walk but not registered officially, it was demolished and 5 units built in her place. I believe the councilor knew a heritage plan for the district was imminent and suddenly the bulldozers went in. Another issue was two unlisted stone buildings at Wongulla were ordered by the council to be torn down as the property owner had built a new house close to the river on the condition that they be bulldozed. The owner said he didn't want to remove them but an aquaintance (who is on the local progress association and friend and nieghbour of the current Mayor) told me that he would be demanding they be removed as the owner had stopped the locals entering his property as they had been doing for years before the block became inhabited. This gentleman had a personal grip said he'd hate to see them (the buildings) go but he had a vendetta and influence in the right places. And so the buildings were demolished. I would say that the community are the best people to identify places of heritage importance and the councils be required to protect them. Too often developers get elected with vested interests. Our local institute has just been repurchased by the council but they have apparently already decided which groups will be homed in the premises without thorough consultation. The local history group has been instrumental in securing the building.
In your opinion, has the current system of local heritage protection served your community well?
The Marion is a fine example of local living heritage. Unfortunately many of the towns iconic buildings have been demolished and replaced with a mishmash of building styles which has left the town of Mannum looking dreadful. I personally helped on the restoration of the Morgan Railway Station that is being restored for tourism. Council paid for several staff to get a weeks training in heritage building skills but hasn't to my knowledge put any of their new skills into practice doing anything of substance in the council area. We used to have a part time heritage officer (don't know if we still do) but she was limited in the help or information she could give me as the owner of a historic homestead and stables that had had it's roof removed by the local farmer to get rid of squatters. The system seems to serve some more than others.
Should councils reject proposals to list local places of historic merit simply because an owner objects?
Should neighbours of local heritage listed buildings have a right of appeal on development applications that propose demolition?
Should buildings listed as Contributory Items in your council area receive better protection?
I haven't heard that term before but if it means heritage infrastructure, Yes.
Do you agree that places proposed for listing by your council as Local Heritage or Contributory Items should be subject to review by DPTI? Or would reviews be more appropriately conducted by an independent source of expert advice?
I like the idea of independent bodies with no political agendas or conflicts of interest.
Would you like to see your council work more closely with the National Trust of SA in protecting heritage, for example, by signing up as one of the Trust's Civic Partners?
What are your personal suggestions for improving the way your council handles policy and planning?
Change their value system to be from the heart rather than for financial incentives. Stop developers having so much influence over elected representatives and stop the confict of interest with council members and staff.
Should councils actively encourage individuals to nominate places for consideration as local heritage?