2018 candidate for City of Mitcham.
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)?
DPTI has a primary role of encouraging development. Sometimes, the goals of development will not align with protecting heritage. I think council’s role is to serve and improve their community to which protection of heritage ties in nicely.
In your opinion, has the current system of local heritage protection served your community well?
Locally in Park Ward I think the system has worked well (I’m unaware of any issues locally from my door knocking). Overall, I'm sure like all systems it could be improved to strengthen ties to our local heritage.
Should councils reject proposals to list local places of historic merit simply because an owner objects?
I think this would depend on the financial and legislative burden placed upon the owner of the building. A heritage listing would likely increase the value of the building so I am unsure what reasons an owner might object. I do not believe there is a great financial burden placed on the owner if the listing is for local heritage.
Should neighbours of local heritage listed buildings have a right of appeal on development applications that propose demolition?
I think whatever rules apply to normal demolitions. Consideration should be given to the overall character of the area and if the façade could be kept. For example, if there are three heritage houses in a row and the owner of the middle one applies for demolition then I most definitely think the other neighbours have the right to put forward a case. At the end of the day, any objections must have merit and not purely be obstructionists.
Should buildings listed as Contributory Items in your council area receive better protection?
Yes, I think they should. There are parts of Park Ward that are contributory items which I think present a substantial contribution to the character of the overall area and our local history.
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?
As I said before, I believe DPTI’s role is primarily encouraging development. I don’t know who you appoint to an ‘independent’ source of expert advice for this, as clearly most people involved with heritage have a preference over either protecting it or not! Would have to be clear guidelines and codes of conduct put in place.
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?
Yes, I would like council to work closely with the National Trust of SA and I'd be happy to look into the Civic Partnership.
What are your personal suggestions for improving the way your council handles policy and planning?
Many people in our local area are passionate about our heritage and the many fantastic heritage buildings that we have. If elected to council, I would explore the option of establishing a Heritage and Tourism committee to look at ways of promoting, maintaining and making the most of these buildings by working hand-in-hand with many of the volunteer organisations that help manage them. I believe that a Heritage and Tourism committee could also provide significant input on other tourism opportunities in our local area such as the many options that have been suggested for Belair Golf Course. The committee could look at areas including: - Management of council owned heritage buildings - Encouraging and managing new and existing heritage nominations - Organising of community events to promote heritage and raise funds for the buildings - Liaise and learn from other heritage organisations, both locally and internationally on how to promote tourism and business opportunities in the local area Ideally, the committee’s events would be funded by events run throughout the year. As I have said before, Mitcham has many culturally significant heritage buildings and locations. A central driving force I think would help our area make the most of these to provide economic growth in tourism which could have real, substantial benefits to the rest of our local area whilst in turn helping to maintain these assets for future generations. www.tommorrison.com.au has had this idea posted for quite a while now.
Should councils actively encourage individuals to nominate places for consideration as local heritage?
Councils should encourage the community, not just specific individuals.