Tasmania

Legislation introduced to make heritage laws simpler in Tasmania

THE Tasmanian Government has introduced the Historic Cultural Heritage Amendment Bill 2012, which aims to make Tasmania's laws on historic heritage simpler.

Environment and Heritage Minister, Brian Wightman, this week said the new legislation was designed to make the system easier to understand, remove red tape and ensure more consistent decision making.

"Under the current laws, someone wishing to carry out works on heritage-listed places needs to seek approval through two separate approval bodies - each with its own timeframe and set of decision-making criteria," he said.

The Minister called the current process an out-dated way of managing development, causing unnecessary frustration and delays.

Mr Wightman said that if passed, the new legislation would simplify the system by removing that additional level of red tape, and ensure decision-making is consistent by allowing for a single application, single advertisement and single permit process.

"It will make the system much clearer for owners and developers and reduce duplicated effort for local government and the Tasmanian Heritage Council."

Mr Wightman said other proposed changes would ensure criteria for the protection of Tasmania's historic heritage were consistent with those in interstate jurisdictions.

"Amendments proposed here will also help to more clearly identify the boundaries of heritage listed places," he said.

Mr Wightman said the changes were developed after a five-week public consultation period earlier this year, which resulted in 33 public submissions.

"These amendments are an important step in addressing the most critical concerns of owner and developers, local government, the Heritage Council and the heritage sector," he said.

"There has been a highly consultative approach, especially with local government and the Heritage Council and I would like to thank everyone who has contributed for their input."

More information on the reform of the Historic Cultural Heritage Act 1995 is available from the Heritage Tasmania website at <http://www.heritage.tas.gov.au/>.

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