Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens' Leader and Heritage spokesperson
The removal of 514 properties from the Tasmanian Heritage Register will weaken heritage protections and fundamentally alter the look, feel and fabric of our towns and cities over time.
Coupled with dramatic changes to state-wide planning, these removals are developer driven and enabled by a Liberal Government that seems to know the price of everything and value of nothing.
Developers must be popping the champagne corks in celebration. It's already too easy for European heritage values to be sacrificed, but now it will be that much easier.
In a process that began shortly after the Liberals took office in 2014, historic properties across the State - including whole streetscapes - will no longer have legislated protection.
Instead, it will be up to local councils to undertake heritage assessments and most councils do not have the expertise or resources to ensure important heritage is protected.
In recent years, for example, Launceston City Council has approved a swathe of developments that damage or destroy important heritage buildings, putting the city at very real risk over time of losing its 'Heritage City' status.
The Hobart City Council is so concerned about planning changes that will weaken heritage protections, its submission to the Tasmanian Planning Commission stated, "The heritage code of the State Planning Provisions is deficient in many areas. Heritage values will be eroded, the detail of building and fine grain qualities will be lost and Hobart will become a city of facades."
Our European heritage buildings are one of our great, uniquely Tasmanian assets.
Under the Hodgman Liberal government, the State's fantastic and rich European heritage is facing an unprecedented threat.
Instead of pretending the Register removals and Statewide Planning Scheme changes are in the public interest, the Liberals should just fess up that this is all a sorry consequence of a blind pitch to cut red tape and bend over backwards to the development fraternity.