With 88 heritage nominations waiting to be assessed for the ACT Heritage Register, the Canberra Liberals have questioned the ACT Government’s commitment to preserving heritage and places.
As at 22 August, the nominations waiting to be assessed include: 42 nominations made in or before 1999, 20 nominations made between 2000 and 2010, 14 nominations made between 2011 and 2015, and 12 nominations made from 2016 to date.
“If these nominations didn’t qualify for heritage listing 20 years ago, they probably will by the time it takes this old and tired government to look at their applications,” Shadow Heritage Minister Nicole Lawder said.
According to an Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD) spokesperson, decisions on nominations are at the discretion of the independent Heritage Council, “which is rigorous and thorough in its assessment of nominations against heritage significance criteria”.
“Nominations older than 20 years were made under the repealed Land (Planning and Environment Act) 1991, which did not require the same level of information as those made under the current Heritage Act 2004. This means research and assessment of older nominations is more resource intensive,” the spokesperson said.
“The Council prioritises assessment of nominations based on development threat and applications that require an urgent decision, in line with best practice.”
The spokesperson said at the beginning of 2008, there were 320 nominations, “232 decisions have subsequently been made, resulting in a nominations list of 88 places and objects that is being processed faster than applications are being received”.