2014 candidate for Adelaide Hills Council.
Heritage survey responses.
What do you think Council's role is in protecting and conserving heritage?
Where Councils can be most effective in their districts is through giving significant buildings, precincts or reserves Local Heritage Status. Of course Council’s must also recognise State Heritage status. In the Adelaide Hills there are many townships and villages which may not have a recognised Heritage status but none the less need to be considered when development applications threaten their character and history.
What measures and incentives do you support to protect and conserve local heritage?
As I said above, for me the critical issue is recognising the heritage value across our district. It’s for that reason I support the World Heritage Bid for the Mt Lofty Ranges as an agrarian landscape. Council also needs to listen to its communities and historical groups who can provide the knowledge to recognise heritage value.
What is the most important heritage protection issue in your local government area?
Quite often when the issue of heritage value or significance is raised, some people see that as a backward step which will prevent development. From my perspective heritage value means tourism and increased local business opportunities. That’s sometimes a hard positive to sell.
What policies and programs will you advocate to protect and conserve heritage in your local area?
The big issue here is making heritage value an overarching guide to development control. Currently unless an area has State or Local Heritage listing, development can comply with the Development Plan but not necessarily be sympathetic to existing character of the locality. I have served on Council’s Development Assessment Panel for some and have always advocated for sympathetic development. If re-elected I will push a review of Council’s Management of Built Heritage Policy which was adopted in 2009 and has not been reviewed since.
Do you support local Councils retaining development approval powers for projects over $3m in value?
Yes, because higher authorities don’t have the local community connection that Local Government does.
Do you have any other thoughts about the protection of heritage in your Council area?
Further to above, I’m concerned that Planning Review that has been conducted did not have an environment or heritage expert on the review panel. The finding to create regional development assessment panels in order to streamline the approval process has the potential also sideline recognition of local heritage. Despite my answer to question 8, I believe the ability for community representation on Council Development Assessment Panels offers much more input that to a regional panel. Add to that desire to reduce the presence of Elected Members on panels or not all on a regional panel also reduces the community input. Planners are much less concerned with community feelings.