Report Recommends Increased Support for Councils to Protect Local Heritage

 

COUNCILS could have more say in protecting NSW’s invaluable heritage and history under recommended changes to the State’s Heritage Act.

Local Government NSW (LGNSW) President Linda Scott said a Parliamentary report released following a review of the almost 50-year old Act included recommendations for greater powers for councils to manage local heritage and broader incentives for ownership of heritage property.

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“Councils across NSW are passionate about our unique heritage buildings and have long called for changes to the 1977 Act to better enable them to protect and maintain historical properties,” Cr Scott said.

“This new report back our calls for increased funding for local heritage grant programs, the development of a State-led heritage tourism strategy and the appointment of a dedicated local government representative on the Heritage Council for the first time.

“It surprises me that local government has not had a voice on this important council given they are on the frontlines of protecting local heritage, and I am pleased it is included in the report recommendations, which will now be considered by the NSW Government.”

Cr Scott said the report recommended:
● Enhanced enforcement powers for councils;
● Prioritisation of Aboriginal cultural heritage legislation;
● Greater inter-agency collaboration for cultural tourism using local heritage assets for improved to support economic growth; and
● Improved protections of heritage sites from development impacts.

Cr Scott urged the NSW Government to accept the recommendations as they considered their response to the report by April 2022.

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