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Push for tougher SA heritage protection

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New legislation seeking to protect South Australia’s heritage listed buildings has been introduced to state parliament, with proponents arguing South Australia’s current planning code is insufficient to protect historic sites.

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Independent MP Sam Duluk on Tuesday introduced the Heritage Places (Protection of Heritage Places) Amendment to the Lower House.

The exiled Liberal says the legislation will require both houses of parliament to approve the destruction or reduction in heritage significance of any State Heritage Listed building.

It will also introduce fines of up to $120,000 for anyone in breach of the legislation.

“My Heritage Places Bill seeks to legislate greater measures of protection for the historic buildings and spaces that grace our State,” Duluk said.

“Heritage plays such an important role in illustrating the history of our State and provides a special place for people to meet and community groups to establish themselves.”

Duluk said the “attack” on the Waite Gatehouse earlier this year, which saw the State Heritage listed building tapped for demolition to make way for an intersection upgrade, convinced him that “State Heritage listing was not in itself great enough protection from future development and destruction”.

An alternative location for the Gatehouse has since been organised after plans to demolish it attracted significant community opposition.

Dr Warren Jones, Convenor of the Protect our Heritage Alliance, said the legislation would be needed given the new Planning and Design Code that came into force in March.

“We know that the Government favours development over heritage and this will get worse with the new Planning and Design Code,” Jones said.

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