Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 1 May 1991
Parliamentary Record 3
Debates for 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Wednesday 1 May 1991 places and objects. Part 3 of the bill outlines provisions for the establishment of heritage assessment criteria according to objectives incorporated within the bill. The Heritage Advisory Council has the responsibility of preparing draft criteria, taking into account comments and representations from the public. If the minister accepts the council's recommendations, these draft criteria then become statutory criteria by way of the regulations. This provides a flexible mechanism for reviewing the criteria from time to time and involves a mechanism for public review. The Heritage Advisory Council then has clear statutory criteria to apply in the assessment process. Any person may apply to the council to have a place or object assessed according to the criteria for declaration as a heritage place or object and, if the council recommends to the minister that such a place or object be included on the Register of Territory Heritage, the council must first give the owner or occupier an opportunity to make representations. The Heritage Advisory Council is obliged to consider all comments received and to forward these, along with its final recommendations supporting registration or not supporting it, to the minister. The minister makes the final decision. Where the minister refuses to make a declaration, he should write to the council giving his reasons for doing so. Where the minister agrees to make a declaration, his decision is subject to appeal on questions of law by any person having a possessory interest in any land or object directly affected by the decision. The whole process is open and accountable and promotes the public interest while safeguarding private property interests. I would like now to deal with the provisions relating to the protection of heritage places and objects. In doing so, I want to make one point very clear: the declaration of a heritage place is a recognition that the place is of value to present and future Territorians. However, that does not mean that the place will be locked away and become an impediment to development or progress, but it does mean that the heritage value of the site should be considered when any change to use of the site is being contemplated. The heritage register will be of benefit and will assist planners and resource managers in their work. The consent of the minister or his delegate is required before any work is carried out which could alter a heritage place or object. However, the regulations may provide for certain work, being in the nature of normal maintenance, to not require the minister's written consent. Approval is required also to remove a heritage object from the Terri tory. Development proposals will still be handled in the normal way, but consent authorities, such as the Planning Authority, will need to seek the approval of the minister before authorising any redevelopment of a heritage place. Alternatively, the minister has the capacity to delegate his consent powers where this is appropriate and desirable. Within town planning areas, it is anticipated that the minister's powers to deal with development applications would be delegated to the Planning Authority, subject to certain conditions in the instrument of delegation. Such conditions would be along the lines that, prior to making any determination, the Planning Authority shall seek the views of the Heritage Advisory Council and take account of those views in making any determination. In situations where a development is proposed for an area which has not been assessed for its heritage significance, it is possible for the minister to declare an interim conservation order which allows 90 days during which heritage assessment can take place. While the order remains in place, a permit is required from the minister before any work on 863
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