Local government regulatory reform process fails to stop silly heritage listings in Townsville

In its report on cutting red tape last year, the Queensland Competition Authority noted that “the Government will consult with local government in late 2013 on a regulatory reform program for local governments.” This consultation obviously didn’t achieve much, because major local governments such as Townsville City Council haven’t got the regulatory reform message yet. For example, it’s reported in today’s Townsville Bulletin that a number of properties of dubious heritage value have been secretly added to Townsville’s heritage register, meaning the owners are now restricted regarding the modifications they can make to the properties (see Dirty dozen get heritage stamp). The silliness of the heritage listings is made clear in a comment from one of the property owners, who points out her house doesn’t really have any heritage value:

The owner of a red brick home in Belgian Gardens, who did not want to be identified, said it would have been nice to know of council’s intention to add her home as a site of heritage value.

“It is a lovely house but it is not even an old Queenslander,” she said.

“I don’t know why I wasn’t told, I should have had a courtesy letter.”

Townsville City Council is a repeat offender on silly heritage listings, but there are possibly similar examples in other parts of Queensland, as well as examples of unnecessary and costly applications of other regulations at the local government level. The Queensland Government needs to revive its local government regulatory reform agenda, and it might be worthwhile for it to commission the QCA to undertake a thorough review of regulations at the local government level.

Previous posts on heritage issues by me and my former colleague Brad Rogers include:

Townsville CC knocks back Nuns’ plans to rebuild convent

Heritage protection could hold back Townsville CBD revitalisation

Old Queenslanders in a New City

This entry was posted in Housing, Townsville and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Local government regulatory reform process fails to stop silly heritage listings in Townsville

  1. guy Reece says:

    the nuns building on the strand whilst I’m sure is some kind of architectural wonder is also an asbestos time bomb. it would probably be better to tear the whole thing down , disposing of the asbestos and starting again and creating a new building with new architectural meaning.

    the other fact is that regardless what Townsville council may tell you there are few buildings of any significance in Townsville that can’t be seen anywhere rise in the city or any other town; the heritage listing is just blowing a very hollow ” look at me – I’m relevant ” horn.

Leave a Reply to guy Reece Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s