2014 candidate for Wakefield Regional Council.
Heritage survey responses.
What do you think Council's role is in protecting and conserving heritage?
All councils must protect and conserve heritage after consultation and advice from communities and experts. In most cases, it has been communities, probably as pioneers, which created the building and amenities which remain today as part of local council infrastructure. The halls, churches, town ovals and grandstands - all those things - must be protected and the local council clearly is the custodian of these.
What measures and incentives do you support to protect and conserve local heritage?
Councils have a responsibility to protect and conserve, but the reality is some items are beyond such measures. Councils must carefully consider the continuing benefits of maintaining a structure against costs - or take action through grants and private funding to care for this. Councils must support local museums which are so vitally important, not just as a possible tourist attraction, but as a reflection of social structures over the years.
What is the most important heritage protection issue in your local government area?
How to maintain outlying halls and churches and the like when council is battling against reduced income and cost shifting from Federal and State governments. Some tough decisions are coming up within all councils.
What policies and programs will you advocate to protect and conserve heritage in your local area?
Allocate specific grant funding from State and Federal governments for heritage conservation. Councils have very limited funds. We need help from others. But we also need a set policy and to identify items which may be beyond assistance.
Do you support local Councils retaining development approval powers for projects over $3m in value?
Yes. Councils and their elected members know their local area and need some say in what is being approved. The State government might want to fast track some developments, but councils should not lose their right of veto. At the very least they should retain specific right to comment. Imagine being a member of a local community and not really know what is about to happen next door?
Do you have any other thoughts about the protection of heritage in your Council area?
Please be realistic when assessing the heritage value of anything. I support maintaining and protecting our heritage, including the environment (certain trees for example) but we must recognise when things are at the end of their life and not misdirect valuable and limited finances into something that really is beyond repair.