Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 1 May 1991
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
Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Wednesday 1 May 1991 the place may be carried out and this must only be in accordance with any conditions specified in writing. For heritage places of the highest value and where long-term preservation is seen to be the prime objective, a conservation management plan is provided for. The council may prepare a conservation management plan taking into account the opinion of the owner and/or occupier of the place. A draft plan shall also be made available to the general public for review and comment, with a minimum of 28 days being allowed for this consultation process. The council will then forward the plan, together with any representations to the minister, for presentation to the Administrator. If the Administrator makes any alteration to the plan, he shall prepare a report specifying the alteration and the report shall accompany the plan when both are tabled in the Legislative Assembly. If the Assembly does not disallow the plan within 7 sitting days, the conservation management plan comes into operation. Part 6 of the bill makes special provision for archeological places and objects. Although the most significant of such places and objects will be assessed and registered as part of Territory heritage, as I have already made reference to, it is also necessary that certain classes of places should be given protection from wanton damage and destruction, whether they have been nominated for assessment or not. For example, rock art galleries and burial sites should be generally protected from vandalism or deliberate damage. The existing Native and Historical Objects and Areas Preservation Act already provides some protection for certain objects and areas of archeological value. However, that legislation was enacted over 35 years ago and is now inadequate. This bill, together with the regulations which will prescribe the archeological places and objects covered by the proposed act, will give enhanced protection to these. Hence the Native and Historical Objects and Areas Preservation Act will be repealed with suitable transitional arrangements in place. I table a draft of the proposed regulations for the information of members of this Assembly. Obviously, further regulations will be developed to cover matters such as heritage assessment criteria and work permitted on heritage places etc. It is intended that the development of further regulations, as provided for in the legislation, will be given high priority by the proposed Heritage Advisory Council. Further to this, a landowner may enter into a heritage agreement with the Territory relating to the protection and conservation of a heritage place and heritage objects. This agreement is binding on the landowner who enters into it and also to successors in title, but may be varied by further agreement. The bill provides for a variety of financial and other incentives. These are not specified in detail, but might include special grants, loans or other funding assistance for the maintenance of the heritage place or object. It provides also that, where a minister or statutory corporation is exercising a power under a law in force in the Territory which could assist in the conservation of a place subject to a heritage agreement, that power should be exercised in accordance with any recommendation of the minister for heritage. The whole emphasis in this legislation is directed toward cooperation and agreement with property owners rather than through regulation and acquisition. In the final resort, however, acquisition may be necessary in order to ensure the protection of some heritage places and objects. There are also substantial penalty provisions for those who might seek to ignore the protective provisions of the legislation. The penalty provision, particularly for corporations, has been set deliberately at a substantial 864
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