2014 candidate for City of Mitcham.
Heritage survey responses.
What do you think Council's role is in protecting and conserving heritage?
As Councils are the closest government to the local community they therefore they have the knowledge base to understand local issues and are aware of the local heritage places in their areas. Mitcham Council should and does consider the important heritage places in the area and has always sought protection of those areas. Mitcham is the oldest Council area outside of the Adelaide City Council so it has a rich and important built form and social heritage that should be protected. Council should encourage protection by investigating potential sites and seek their listing through the state authorities where appropriate. This is a very costly and time consuming undertaking but something that is vitally important to Mitcham and indeed the state.
What measures and incentives do you support to protect and conserve local heritage?
In an ideal world it would be wonderful to offer some level of rate rebate for heritage listed properties but with the current financial constraints this is not possible. Mitcham has in the past given small grant to owners of properties that are listed to improve them. I would like this to continue. Mitcham also offers advice to owners on how they can improve their hertiage listed property through meetings with Council's Heritage Officer. The promotion of the benefits of owning a heritage listed property is something that would assist in conserving and making local heritage listing less problematic.
What is the most important heritage protection issue in your local government area?
I consider that biggest impediment to heritage listing is the length of time and cost of actually having a property noted and listed in the Council's Development Plan. Council's can identify and investigate the worth of a property for listing, at some expence, but it is the added cost and time taken to process the listing through the state bureaucracy that is of a concern to me. In some cases it can take years to achieve which is far too long.
What policies and programs will you advocate to protect and conserve heritage in your local area?
I have always been interested in Council's having control over development to protect valuable heritage sites in its area. I am keen on promoting the benefits of heritage listing so that property owners don't consider it a burden but an opportunity.
Do you support local Councils retaining development approval powers for projects over $3m in value?
I am very supportive of Councils retaining development approval power for projects over $3m. I find it hard to see why a planner in a Council could and should have a different view of a development to that of a planner working for Planing SA. Both are trained professionals and both must consider the development against the provisions clearly spelled out in the Local Development Plan. Mitcham has a professional planning department that has often considered applications over $3m in the past. I don't see why they shouldn't be qualified to determine these same applications in the future.
Do you have any other thoughts about the protection of heritage in your Council area?
I would like to see Mitcham encourage protection of heritage in the Council area more. I see heritage listing as a positive, not a negative for property owners. As the oldest Council outside the CBD, I have seen some outstanding examples of properties that could be heritage listed that aren't. Council's should be working with residents to retain heritage of a social and built form so that our future residents can appreciated the past as well as much as the future.