New Laws Hazardous to Heritage

The Better Planning Network (BPN) says the new planning laws proposed by NSW Planning Minister Brad Hazzard will endanger our Heritage buildings and sites reports this media release from the Better Planning Network on 18 April 2013.

BPN’s Corinne Fisher said: “With the Government proposing that 80% of development will be approved with no opportunity for heritage assessment, community comment or involvement, we can expect a huge decrease in heritage assets over the coming decade. We are particularly concerned that Aboriginal heritage which has not yet been listed on a heritage register will simply be bulldozed.”

Under the current system things like rock carvings and middens that neighbours are aware of but are not officially listed on the National Parks register, or are only discovered once the site is surveyed, can be protected.

“The proposed system opens the way for destruction of many priceless carvings, middens and artifacts simply because they have remained hidden and undisturbed, sometimes for thousands of years. Now they could be in the way of development where there is no heritage assessment and the community has no right to comment or raise objections,'' said Ms Fisher. “We have to rely on the goodwill of developers to declare these heritage items and to protect them.”

The same fate will await heritage houses that Councils have been slow to place on heritage registers. The new planning laws allow buildings with heritage value but which have not been formally listed as heritage to be demolished without any opportunity for their character to be preserved.

“We urge residents who do not want the local character of their suburbs to be demolished and who do not want what is left of our Aboriginal heritage to disappear to voice their opinion strongly to the Minister.''

“The Minister can act to protect heritage. It’s up to the community to show him we care.”

Source: Better Planning Network Media Release 18 April 2013.