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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Environment, Local Government, Planning and Women
    The Honourable Desley Boyle

    New future for Queensland’s cultural heritage

    Minister for Environment, Local Government, Planning and Women
    The Honourable Desley Boyle

    Thursday, July 20, 2006

    New future for Queensland’s cultural heritage

    New laws will be introduced to give the community greater certainty that Queensland’s special heritage places will be protected, Environment Minister Desley Boyle said today.

    Ms Boyle today announced amendments would be made to the Queensland Heritage Act 1992 following the review of Queensland’s heritage system.

    “The Queensland Heritage Act is 14-years-old. Changes will be made to speed up the entry of State heritage places to the Queensland Heritage Register and to help councils better protect local heritage places.

    “Too often the community is left fighting developers at the last minute when a heritage place is under threat.

    “These new laws will ensure Queensland’s heritage places are better protected by a more timely and predictable process.

    “They will give increased certainty to owners of heritage places, developers and the wider community,” Ms Boyle said.

    The changes include:

    • The Queensland Heritage Council will retain its status as an independent statutory body that makes decisions about listing places on the Queensland Heritage Register
    • The Council will focus more on broader heritage policy issues including providing future vision and strategic guidance for cultural heritage in Queensland
    • The Environmental Protection Agency will make decisions on development

    applications for work on places in the Queensland Heritage Register, rather than the Heritage Council. The EPA may still seek QHC’s advice on major development applications

    • Development on properties next to heritage places will also be assessed by the EPA for heritage impacts.

    A statutory timeframe of 80 business days (four months) will be set to deal with nominations to the Queensland Heritage Register. Limited extensions will be available for further negotiations between the Heritage Council and owners.

    • Owners of heritage places will be able to exercise a “right to be heard” directly by the Queensland Heritage Council to voice their opinions for or against the listing

    The new changes will also require councils to keep a list of National and State heritage places. It will be up to local government to decide which places, if any, are of local heritage significance.

    “But I would encourage all local governments to create their own list of local heritage places that are important to their community and to protect them.

    “And local government will be pleased to hear there will be three dedicated officers within the heritage section to help local governments with their National, State and local heritage lists.

    “Local governments in Brisbane, Ipswich and Toowoomba, for example, have many places on their local heritage registers and have well-established frameworks for managing these places.

    “In consultation with local government, a Heritage Code will be developed which will give councils guidelines for dealing with development applications affecting local heritage places.”

    “There is often confusion about the difference between places of state heritage significance (entered on the Queensland Heritage Register) and locally significant places.

    “For example a town hall may be locally significant because for years residents have attended local functions and important community events there.

    “Most town halls are significant at a local level. However, factors such as how original or unaltered a building is, its rarity, or its contribution to the story of Queensland’s development can lift a building to state heritage importance,” Ms Boyle said.

    Only places of state heritage significance should be entered in the Queensland Heritage Register.

    “The other plank of the Government’s heritage strategy is our $2.7 million state-wide audit to make to sure we identify Queensland’s most significant heritage places.

    “Local communities will help the EPA with this important survey to identify heritage places.

    “Information on places identified in the audit that are not added to the State register will be shared with local government and I would encourage them to look seriously at their suitability for local listing.

    “Under the Heritage Code places of local heritage significance will be decided by local government.

    “Heritage-listed properties help us understand who we are and where we come from as Queenslanders,” she said.

    Ms Boyle thanked the many people and organisations who had input into the heritage review, including the Queensland Heritage Council, the Ministerial Heritage Advisory Committee, the National Trust of Queensland, the Local Government Association Queensland, the Urban Development Industry Association and church organisations.

    The draft Queensland Heritage and Other Legislation Amendment Bill will be made available for public consultation later this year.