Cr McKay - Protecting and understanding our heritage
  • Thursday 12 November 2015

I am delighted our council is continuing to deliver on our commitment to be proactive in not just conserving the Sunshine Coast’s heritage but in understanding it.

Council has recently commenced the preparation of a Cultural Heritage Study which will include a thematic history of the region, including landscapes, built environment, parks and open spaces.

It will also be used to prepare a list of the region’s heritage places, to undertake a review of the Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme 2014 in relation to heritage matters, to ensure that all places and character areas worthy of inclusion on the register will receive the protection that the planning scheme provides.

A procurement process is underway to obtain the services of a suitably qualified consultant to assist with the study.

Following recent changes to the Queensland Heritage Act 1992 providing that in certain (limited) circumstances a local government may issue essential maintenance orders (EMOs) to owners of local heritage places, council is also currently considering what will be required to successfully implement this regime.

We expect that the State government will provide a briefing to council officers about the changes to the Act in the New Year which will further assist us to make an informed decision about the preferred approach moving forward.

To ensure appropriate actions and policies are embedded into council’s processes, I raised a notice of motion for council staff to investigate the feasibility of developing a policy regarding the EMO and providing a report back to council on the findings as soon as practicable. An outcome on the notice of motion is expected at today’s Ordinary Meeting.

Ultimately residents can rest assured my focus remains on the protection of local heritage places, and implementing a range of measures that provide appropriate regulatory protection as well as incentives.