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Heritage – Illegal Demolition

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 9 June 2022

Tags: Heritage, Planning

Ms O'CONNOR - No, thanks. One more question, Chair. I want to discuss matters pertaining to the notorious heritage destruction of a Mt Stuart property. Developer Darko Krajinovic was fined $225 000 plus legal costs in 2017 for the deliberate demolition of a heritage-listed building. At the time it was noted that the Government's amendments to the LUPAA meant that the council was unable to apply for an order for a ban for development on the property by the developer. In 2021 he was fined $90 000 plus court costs for subsequently demolishing heritage-listed stone footings. Minister, clearly the fines are considered by this developer to be just a cost of doing business. Would you agree that the current measures are not sufficient to deter the destruction of heritage, and are you doing anything to prevent developers who have a history of destroying heritage from developing on heritage-listed sites?

Ms OGILVIE - My understanding was that it was a Hobart City Council-listed house, not in relation to this output -

Ms O'CONNOR - But it's one example of failure where developers see it as a cost of business.

Ms OGILVIE - I feel your pain, I do understand that, and I think the best answer to that is to talk a little bit about what we do to support heritage property owners.

Ms O'CONNOR - No, that wasn't the question.

Ms OGILVIE - He was an owner of that property. It is a Hobart City Council matter, so I'm not sure that I can shed any more light on it.

Ms O'CONNOR - How do you prevent the destruction of heritage?

Ms OGILVIE - Well, the Hobart City Council obviously has rules in place to prevent the destruction of heritage in a Hobart City Council area.

Ms O'CONNOR - So no answer?

Mr WOOD - Minister, could you please outline to the committee how the Tasmanian Heritage Council and Heritage Tasmania did in terms of its performance measures this year?

Ms OGILVIE - They did very well. The Government and I greatly appreciate and rely on the expertise provided by the Tasmanian Heritage Council, as it cares for and advises on our significant heritage assets. The Heritage Council's responsibility under the Historic Cultural Heritage Act are significant and require a significant time commitment, so I extend my deep thanks to all the members of the council for their work and ongoing commitment.

The Heritage Council exceeded two of their performance measures and met the third on all but one occasion. The staff of Heritage Tasmania helped deliver the objectives of the Heritage Council in the research and analysis of new or revised listings in the provision of predevelopment, advice and works approvals and in advocacy to promote the appreciation of historic heritage in Tasmania.

The effectiveness of this predevelopment advice has been a significant achievement by the Heritage Council in recent years. I am pleased to see that approximately 99 per cent of the development applications are approved, which is a reflection of the cooperative discussions that have been undertaken with developers while they are still formulating their plans. It is a collaboration. These discussions help the historic heritage-listed site owners to obtain a clearer understanding of the relative significance of the elements of their properties and to appreciate ways these can be preserved by still allowing adaptive use. I love that phrase 'adaptive use'. As of 31 March 2022, Heritage Tasmania has approved 459 development applications and certificates of exemption, contributing to more than $277 million worth of development activity across Tasmania.