Vote 1 for your local heritage
It’s election time for South Australia’s 68 local councils. The chance comes but once every four years to choose your local council.
Since the last council elections in 2014 there have been some significant changes to the role of local government in planning, development and management of local heritage.
A massive centralisation of planning decision-making within the state government and the stripping away of powers and rights from local councils and communities are having a dramatic impact on our streets, suburbs, towns and cities. South Australians now have the least rights to notification and appeal against new developments that affect them.
The development free for all unleashed by the previous government and its rubber-stamp State Planning Commission is causing concern across the metropolitan area. Poorly designed and badly built “urban infill” is being approved without proper consultation or review. The result is overcrowding, strained infrastructure and a mess of uncoordinated, opportunistic development that reduces amenity and property values.
The people who were elected to represent the interests of local communities have been sidelined by these changes, greatly diminishing your say in what happens in your local area.
If you are concerned about restoring your voice and that of your local council in the planning and development of your area and the protection of local heritage, we urge you to support candidates in the upcoming local council elections.
Voting opens in late October and closes on 9 November.
We suggest you ask candidates standing for election some of the following questions to ascertain their views on planning, development and the protection of heritage.
1. 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)?
2. In your opinion has the current system of local heritage protection served your community well?
3. Do you agree that total demolition of registered local heritage places should not be allowed in development applications?
4. Should councils reject proposals to list local places of historic merit simply because an owner objects?
5. Should neighbours of local heritage listed buildings have a right of appeal on development applications that propose demolition?
6. Should buildings listed as Contributory Items in your council area receive better protection?
7. 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?
8. 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?
9. What are your personal suggestions for improving the way your council handles heritage policy and planning?
10. Should councils actively encourage individuals to nominate places for consideration as local heritage?
You can download the list of questions above here