2014 candidate for City of Mitcham.
Heritage survey responses.
What do you think Council's role is in protecting and conserving heritage?
I believe this is a key role of Council. Local government is the closest level of government to the local community who live and work in the area. Councillors generally have a good understanding of the local issues and heritage that should be protected and conserved. Historical local knowledge is critical to understanding what should be preserved. With this knowledge and understanding local government is in an ideal position to negotiate, fund and advocate on heritage issues.
What measures and incentives do you support to protect and conserve local heritage?
Elected members should work closely with council staff, historical and other local groups to identify local heritage issues and risks. Residents should be made aware of local heritage sites and the benefits of conservation. Policies need to be in place that ensure heritage issues are considered in all development applications. Council funding should be allocated for continued conservation of heritage sites and to protect those newly identified.
What is the most important heritage protection issue in your local government area?
Preservation of Aboriginal heritage site in Brownhill Creek which is threatened by the 'dam options' for flood mitigation. Brownhill Creek is a major natural resource and wildlife corridor that has been allowed to become overgrown and weed-infested along some of its route. The no dam option includes rehabilitation of the creek and planting of indigenous species.
What policies and programs will you advocate to protect and conserve heritage in your local area?
Consideration of heritage issues for any development application, with community engagement and consultation, that is a 'heritage and environmental impact assessment'. Education and awareness raising of heritage issues and successes so that residents are awareness of, and can celebrate, local heritage. Support to historical and conservation community groups and volunteers for their work. Work with educational institutions, libraries etc to build awareness and support for conservation. Long term, I believe we need to reconsider the push for continued population growth as this puts increasing pressure on all open space and resources - natural and man-made. While this is not a local government issue I believe councils should advocate on behalf of residents for an environment and society that values reducing the negative impact of excessive human population growth.
Do you support local Councils retaining development approval powers for projects over $3m in value?
Yes. While I can see a role for state government in establishing general policy and providing advice on large project developments, I support local councils having the final say about developments in their area. Councils represent the local community who will be most impacted on by large developments so democratically should have these powers.
Do you have any other thoughts about the protection of heritage in your Council area?
Protection of heritage and development for the future need to go hand in hand. I believe the City of MItcham is doing a reasonable job in protecting infrastructure heritage in public buildings but the increasing push to grow the population will put pressure on preservation of private infrastructure and open space.