Queensland Government to introduce greater protection for heritage places

THE Queensland Government last week said it will ensure the state's important heritage places are better preserved for future generations, by restoring protections for adjoining sites which were previously removed by the former government.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Jackie Trad said the government would reintroduce a state trigger for proposed developments which share a common boundary with a Queensland heritage place.

Customs House, Brisbane
Above: Customs House, Brisbane / by Colin Adland.

"Prior to 2012, applications to develop land adjoining a Queensland heritage place triggered a referral to the state, but the previous LNP government saw fit to remove these important protections to suit their development agenda," Ms Trad said.

"The Palaszczuk Government is committed to getting the balance right between urban development and the preservation of our important heritage buildings and spaces.

"The new state trigger will place even greater value on heritage protection and further preserve these places for future generations of Queenslanders to enjoy.

"We know Queensland communities care deeply about protecting local heritage sites, but recently we've seen far too many significant places jeopardised with the stroke of a pen.

"The Government's new trigger would have captured the controversial development recently approved by Brisbane City Council on the land adjoining Customs House – a culturally significant piece of Queensland's history.

"This proposal for a 47-storey tower at 443 Queen Street attracted significant criticism from the Heritage Council and protesters who rallied over the lack of public consultation.

"Introducing this new trigger is a further step the government is taking to ensure there is greater scrutiny in the development assessment process, after giving the Queensland Heritage Council a stronger consultative role earlier this year."

The trigger will refer an application to the State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA) where the proposed development shares a common boundary with a Queensland heritage place, or shares a common boundary with a lot containing a Queensland heritage place.

The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection will provide technical advice on these applications, as it does for applications on Queensland heritage places.

The new regulation will commence later this year.

Photo: Customs House, Brisbane / Colin Adland / Licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 2.0.

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