Hobart is a city that recognises and celebrates its history and heritage as one of the city’s greatest economic assets. Hobart is well-known as Australia’s second oldest city with heritage and stories that are unique in the world.
I will work to create a Heritage Strategy for Hobart that clearly outlines laws, incentives and advice to support the protection and use of heritage, as well as measures to increase appreciation of Hobart’s heritage.
Hobart Council’s Heritage Unit needs to be expanded and better resourced so it can do more proactive work, particularly given that the Statewide Planning Scheme creates rules that remove heritage protections.
I will push for more resources for our Heritage Unit so it can:
- work with property owners and developers to restored and re-purpose heritage buildings to improve our streetscapes.
- develop design guides and heritage precinct histories to communicate the rich heritage of our city
- run a heritage awards program to celebrate owners that undertake generational repairs, design sensitive modern extensions or refurbish heritage in a creative way.
- better interpret our history, so that locals and visitors understand places of significance and the stories behind them.
I will move again to establish a Hobart Heritage Advisory Committee, because it helps to increase community participation, awareness and appreciation of heritage in Hobart.
Heritage Fund – I will advocate to increase the funds available and ensure that a more regular grants program in created.
Making the most of our heritage jewels – Hobart’s Treasury buildings are publicly owned and are the finest grouping of outstanding heritage buildings in Australia especially in their setting with Franklin Square and surrounding streets.
They present a great opportunity for the public and visitors to have an experience that would be a wonderful counterbalance to MONA. Rather than being sold for a hotel, these buildings should be turned into a unique public space with free entry and open seven days a week. It would be a perfect place for Hobart to house its extensive colonial art collection, a heritage library and public ‘lounge’, a visitor information centre, cafes and restaurants.
Hobart can do something interesting and creative with these beautiful sandstone buildings in the heart of our city. I will be strong advocate for this vision and against plans for their sale.
Penalties for Demolition – I will advocate for increased penalties for the demolition of heritage properties. This is essential to avoid the situation where people buy heritage-listed properties for reduced prices and then illegally demolish them, knowing the fines will only represent a small percentage of the newly developed property value. I will push for:
– penalties for offences under the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act (LUPAA) to be increased and brought into line with those of the Historic Cultural Heritage Act (5000 penalty units rather than 500 penalty units), and
– as in the Historic Cultural Heritage Act, LUPAA provide a possible ban on development of up to five years.