2014 candidate for City of Burnside.
Heritage survey responses.
What do you think Council's role is in protecting and conserving heritage?
It should be a very high priority. It is important that we the community retain and conserve our built & natural heritage, before unsympathetic profit driven developers bulldoze & remove buildings from the 1800's, early 1900's. These buildings are our communities' heritage & if a building is removed because it is in danger of collapsing, there should be systematic removal of elements of the building that can be reused, rather than the 'ball & chain' knock it over and then cart away in a dump truck. The destruction of the former Nurses Home at Glenside is a case in point. Adaptive reuse should be high priority instead of knock it over before anybody can intervene to stop the process. Council should also be able to add heritage buildings to a Heritage DPA at any time & certainly not at the whim of the Minister of the day, who seemingly has the ear of only the developers. Council's need to be continually identifying & actively reassessing their local heritage lists and be able to constantly add items to the heritage register when identified & not have to wait for the whim of the Minister of the day. The Adelaide City Council should be asking G Gambitsis where is the facade of the Chrildrens' Creche building that once stood proudly in Gouger Street, opposite the Charles Moore building. It was suggested at the time of demolition of that building, that the facade would be used in a rebuild in the city, but nothing has ever been seen of the 'sandstone' since.
What measures and incentives do you support to protect and conserve local heritage?
Increase the listings of contributory items to Historic Conservation Zones and Council areas. Increased monetary incentives & assistance to residents who are conserving heritage buildings according to the profession guidance of heritage architect. If the Government was truly genuine and sincere about their support for heritage in this state, they should reinstate funding for heritage architects so they can offer a professional heritage advice service to residents in each local government area. We need to investigate the UK model where heritage properties are supported by funding from the national Lottery, and not only just health systeme and hospitals. People when visiting other countries overseas, marvel at their ancient heritage & wonderful architecture, they should support heritage protection in this state. But if the community allows this state government to continue to diminish our heritage protection, then our wonderful stone built architecture that visitors love to see, will be no more. The state heritage Z building at Glenside, recently bought by Beach Petroleum, is a case in point. They are proposing to have an open day so that the community can view the building and be involved in their ideas/ designs for adaptive reuse of this building. People have lost trust in the listing of heritage buildings in this state because buildings are listed and the list is published in the Advertiser, but then buildings are so easily delisted and then demolished & the Union Theatre at University of Adelaide is a recent example. This just emphasizes the point that the developers have the power and the ear of the Minister in this state.
What is the most important heritage protection issue in your local government area?
Making sure that all bluestone and sandstone properties are not demolished by developers; if buildings are constructed of stone from the 1800's+, they should remain in situ and be developed only with the assistance of qualified heritage architects. I would also include in this category early red brick and early modern houses of the 1900s as well.
What policies and programs will you advocate to protect and conserve heritage in your local area?
Be able to identify & add local heritage items to our current heritage list and increase protections in our historic conservation zones & not have to wait for the pen of the Minister to say yes or no. If there is an identified need for increased protection, ie colour of painted fence in a HCZ, then a Council should be able to increase that protection, especially when the subject is a contributory item in an HCZ. We currently have no control in this matter in BCC and the Minister did not allow us to change the rules to increase protection. We had no control over the recent demolition of a wonderful bluestone, bay window mansion that was demolished on Kensington Road; it could not be stopped. The current & previous Labor governments have diminished the role of local government in planning to such an extent, that the community now has a very 'muted' voice in this process.
Do you support local Councils retaining development approval powers for projects over $3m in value?
ABSOLUTELY! The community ie people who live and reside in properties that may be alongside these projects, want us and the community as a whole, to have some say in what is built in their neighbourhood & they want to know what is proposed to be developed. Plans should be displayed on a board on the site of the development for a period of at least 2-3 weeks, so that everyone in the neighbourhood knows what is proposed to be built. It will expose the shoddy developers to all and sundry.
Do you have any other thoughts about the protection of heritage in your Council area?
I think I have said enough! I believe if we don't all speak up, the Expert Panel & the government will just ride roughshod over their local communities. The role of LGA should be to be a leader in this space and support local governments when they identify deficiencies in the planning system. The recent two Heritage Workshops/Forum in conjunction with National Trust have been excellent but unfortunately not well attended by planning staff at Councils....they should be able to attend for free as compulsory professional development. They are the persons who are in immediate need of educating about the importance of heritage protection. All those persons who haven't attended, are the people who most needed to be at the last workshop!