Tasmania’s peak local government body has suggested councils are facing pressure on heritage and planning resources due to state government planning reform.
This comes after the City of Launceston council said changes to legislation meant progress on new local heritage listings recommended in a 2007 council study had been delayed.
Local Government Association of Tasmania chief executive Dr Katrena Stephenson suggested the pressure on councils was not new.
“There has been a significant drain on the planning and heritage resources of all councils as a consequence of the planning reform agendas set by the current and previous governments,” Dr Stephenson said.
“It is entirely feasible that resources have been diverted to meet the various government priorities.
“The sector would always welcome more support, but we acknowledge that there is a national skills shortage, which might limit what can be done.”
IN OTHER NEWS
The 2007 Launceston Heritage Study, published by City of Launceston council and Paul Davies Heritage Architects, has again been highlighted after it was revealed a Launceston property approved for demolition in May was noted as a place of local significance.
The study outlined a number of policy recommendations for adoption, along with an extensive list of sites that met state heritage listing criteria.
A management strategy was recommended to provide efficient processing and assessment of applications for places affected by listings, without the need for Tasmanian Heritage Council involvement in “minutiae”.
Last week, acting City of Launceston council general manager Leanne Hurst also suggested changes to state heritage and planning legislation since 2007 meant progress on the local heritage list was delayed.
A state government spokesperson rejected this, saying, “all local councils are responsible for managing local heritage within their municipal area, this will not change under the new statewide planning scheme”.
City of Launceston general manager Michael Stretton said other properties highlighted in the study which may otherwise received future heritage protections could have been legally demolished in the time since its publication more than a decade ago.
Heritage Protection Society (Tasmania) Inc president Lionel Morrell agreed that more resources needed to be diverted to heritage concerns in the state.
“There is plenty of lip funding given to heritage,” he said.
“But it’s a parlous state.”
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