Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 1 May 1991



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 1 May 1991

Other title

Parliamentary Record 3


Debates for 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





Publisher name

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

Place of publication


File type



Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

DEBATES - Wednesday 1 May 1991 cooperation and agreement rather than through regulation or through acquisition, except as a last recourse. The act will provide for a range of financial and other incentives to encourage heritage conservation on private property. It will also encourage the establishment of voluntary agreements between government and private landowners for the protection of Northern Territory heritage. Such agreements will become a covenant of title under the Real Property Act. Another major objective of this legislation is to establish open public procedures for determining what places and objects should be recognised as being important parts of the Northern Territory heritage and, further, to promote community awareness of, and input to, the assessment process. To assist in the development of appropriate expertise in the assessment of heritage places and objects, the bill provides for the creation of a Heritage Advisory Council. I have received a great deal of advice concerning the membership of the council and much thought has gone into the provisions finally selected for incorporation into the bill. The 3 government authorities with prime responsibility for the protection of the Territory's heritage, namely the Museums and Art Galleries Board, the Conservation Commission and the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority, will each nominate a member to a 9-person council. The National Trust shall also nominate a member. The other 5 members shall be selected and appointed by the minister. They will be persons who have expertise or experience relevant to the administration of the act. Many organisations sought to have one or more representatives on the council. To have reserved places for all would have been impossible. Rather than give automatic representation to one community interest group and not another, the legislation provides that the minister carries the responsibility to ensure that a balanced membership is achieved, utilising the best expertise available. The bill provides that the majority of the council shall be appointed from outside the public service wherever practicable. In addition, the council will have an independent chairman appointed by the minister. The prime function of the council will be to recommend to the minister places and objects of heritage value for inclusion on the register of Northern Territory heritage. In order to do that, the council is also responsible for the preparation of criteria for the assessment of places and objects of heritage value in accordance with objectives or guidelines established in the legislation. I shall have more to say about that process a little later. Other functions of the Heritage Advisory Council are to carry out relevant research, advise on the conservation and use of heritage places, promote public education programs and encourage the public use and enjoyment of heritage places and objects, make recommendations with respect to heritage agreements with private property owners, and recommend to the minister actions necessary for the protection of heritage places and objects. The council is charged with keeping a register of all heritage places and objects and other relevant information. It will prepare an annual report on the performance of its functions and a copy of this will be tabled in the Legislative Assembly. The proposed Heritage Advisory Council will carry very significant responsibilities and I anticipate that, over time, it will make a very beneficial contribution to the identification and protection of the Territory's heritage. It will have an increasing workload and will receive executive and other support from the Conservation Commission in order to discharge its responsibilities. Let me turn now to another important aspect of this bill, namely the provisions for the identification, assessment and declaration of heritage 862