In the transition to South Australia’s new planning system, hard won protections for our treasured heritage places are under threat. If newly proposed regulations are allowed, thousands of places are at imminent risk of demolition, with no right of objection or appeal for neighbours, councils or communities. More than half of our protected places are now at risk of being destroyed.
Adverse impacts from the PDI Act are now being experienced in a number of areas, even before full implementation of the Planning and Design Code that is due to take effect in July 2020. Delays and deficiencies in the community consultation process for development of the Code are causing widespread confusion, frustration and uncertainty.
It is essential for the community, the media and Government to be reliably informed about the impact of recent and proposed changes on our built heritage and natural environment.
In the case of our built heritage, the State Planning Commission has proposed policies that are significantly at odds with the recommendations of the Parliamentary Inquiry into Heritage which instead called for ‘a statewide, collaborative and strategic approach to heritage reform’.
The National Trust of South Australia has proposed a five point plan to provide a platform for a clear and sensible reform of our heritage protection systems.
A single Heritage Act covering all aspects of heritage management
that strengthens and simplifies protections.
An independent Heritage Commission to manage listings and
development approvals for heritage places.
An integrated heritage listing process, with strong local government
and community participation.
- Strict demolition controls for all heritage places and areas.
- Incentives and investments to support heritage property owners and stimulate the restoration economy.
In addition to these issues around our built environment, there is very real public concern about the related problems of the inexorable loss of green space, mature trees and canopy cover in urban areas and the disposal of construction waste. Threatened communities and the broader public need to be fully informed about these problems, the potential solutions and the political implications, as well as the risks to their intrinsic right to determine their future lived amenity.
The ‘Protect our Heritage Alliance’ creates a cohesive public voice for concerned advocates for our heritage and environment, both built and natural.