Protecting the region’s rich cultural heritage for future generations
  • Thursday 18 June 2015
Banfoot House photo by Ron Gillinder

Projects aimed at conserving the region’s history and character will continue to be fostered under the 2015/2016 Sunshine Coast Council Cultural Heritage Levy Program.

Community Programs Portfolio Councillor and Sunshine Coast Heritage Reference Group Chairperson, Jenny McKay, said today’s decision to endorse the program for the next 12 months would help to ensure the region’s cultural heritage continued to be protected.

“The annual Heritage Levy will remain at $5 per ratepaying household, providing about $643,000 for a range of programs aimed at identifying, understanding, celebrating and conserving the region’s heritage,” Cr McKay said.

“The levy program reflects the vision of Council’s Draft Heritage Plan 2015-2020, which is currently open for community consultation. The plan will inform the direction for heritage in our region for coming years.

“The Sunshine Coast Heritage Reference Group provided specialist advice to Council on how the funds generated by the Cultural Heritage Levy would be best spent across the Coast.

“That valuable input helped develop the annual program endorsed today by Council.

“The major project, which will take two years to deliver, in the 2015-16 program is a comprehensive Heritage Study for the Sunshine Coast Local Government Area.

“This study, once complete, will improve the effectiveness of the Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme 2014 in managing heritage places.

“While the Levy also assists in conserving Council’s significant heritage collections such as the Bankfoot House Heritage precinct, including the new Mary Grigor Centre and the historic Bankfoot House, it also supports our museum network.

“Local museums and historical societies are supported by the Levy though the Community Partnership Funding program, which contributes to core operational costs and helps these community organisations to fund the day-to-day running of the organisations and the facilities that house the vast majority of this region’s public collections.

“These organisations, which are run by volunteers, are key to conserving the cultural heritage of the Sunshine Coast.

“That is why the Levy, in addition to the partnership funding, also provides a suite of valuable professional development programs to support and increase the capacity of the many hard-working community museum volunteers working in the heritage sector.

“The Cultural Heritage Levy program also provides funding for key cultural programs identified in consultation with Aboriginal and DASSI traditional custodian groups, important cultural heritage tourism initiatives, such as Walk Sunshine Coast, contemporary digital heritage initiatives and targeted marketing programs.

“These are just a few of the examples of where the Levy is put to good use.”

Visit Council’s website for more information on the Cultural Heritage Levy.

The Draft Heritage Plan is also still open to public feedback. Have your say by visiting Council’s website before 5pm on Monday, June 22.