To sign the online petition http://chng.it/BmjCbVYSsc
…share it with your friends.
Sign up for email updates on the heritage watch website http://www.heritagewatch.net.au/
Like and share the Love your local heritage Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/love.your.local.heritage/
TALKING POINTS – STATE PLANNING COMMISSION POLICY POSITIONS ON HERITAGE
- The proposed framework for heritage protection under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act and its translation to the Planning and Design Code was supposed to be the subject of the People and Neighbourhoods Discussion Paper, originally proposed for release in 2018. This paper has not yet been released with conflicting explanations from the Department of Planning as to when, where and in what form it might be presented.
- Without prior notice, in early May the State Planning Commission released instead ‘policy positions’ (not a Discussion Paper) setting out major changes in the way heritage would be dealt with in the new planning system. There is no public consultation on these documents which is at odds with the Community Engagement Charter under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act and the process used with other areas of planning policy.
- The policy positions are presented as a fait accompli, without any evidence or substantive argument to support them.
- This is not the public debate around planning policy that was supposed to be the purpose of the Community Engagement Charter, which states that:
‘the Charter must be used to guide public participation with respect to the preparation of designated policies, strategies and schemes, [including the Planning and Design Code]’
- The State Planning Commission is not compliant with its own Community Engagement Charter.
- Many of the ‘policy positions’ advocated by the State Planning Commission are a radical departure from current practice and represent a significant diminution of heritage protections, including downgrading of recognition and protection for more than half of the places currently protected; the introduction of new criteria to make it easier to demolish heritage places and introducing greater uncertainty in approvals for alterations and additions to heritage places.
- In preparing these ‘policy positions’ the State Planning Commission has ignored the overwhelming public feedback from the DPTI consultation on local heritage conducted in 2016 and the Parliamentary inquiry into heritage conducted in 2018 which strongly supported strengthening of heritage protections and the need for heritage protection to be managed independently of the planning system.
- Since the release of the’ policy positions’ in May the State Planning Commission has repeatedly failed to answer questions presented to it about its proposed approach, even when they have sought the questions.
- The Planning Commission has not made the case for the changes it is advocating. Nor has it properly assessed the risks and potential negative impacts of the changes it is proposing.
- The risks to our remaining heritage places are too great if these proposals are adopted.
- And the benefits of adopting them have not been proven or supported by any substantive arguments.
So why do it? Who will benefit?