Page 503 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 22 March 2023

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Workload pressures in ACT Heritage, particularly in the approvals and advice area, have increased over several years and is reflective of a growing Canberra. These pressures have resulted in extended timeframes for the processing of development applications and referrals for advice. The review identified the impacts and challenges of these pressures and the impact it has had on the staff in ACT Heritage and on the ACT Heritage Council. The directorate has moved quickly to augment resourcing within ACT Heritage. These augmented resources are helping to address the immediate workload pressure and there is workforce planning underway to identify resource gaps against future needs.

A key aspect of the heritage reforms being delivered by this government will be the development of a strategic framework for the management, conservation and protection of heritage in the ACT. The strategic framework will provide the government, the Heritage Council and the community with a comprehensive direction for heritage in the ACT. It will ensure we have an overarching framework for ongoing decision making and public engagement on heritage.

The initial document to support this will be the strategic business plan for ACT Heritage, which is proposed to be developed through 2023-24. This will identify the proposed pathway to implement the government’s reforms, including key performance indicators, to ensure that the success of ACT Heritage can be measured and reported on. A strategic and outward facing heritage statement of intent will be developed as part of the future reform. It will clearly state the future vision for heritage and define the objectives and the direction of heritage in the ACT. This statement will reflect the combined learnings from the government’s comprehensive review and the establishment of the interim council, as well as the findings from the Assembly inquiry.

The government continues to work hard to progress reforms to ensure the ACT’s heritage is identified, protected, conserved and promoted. I would like to express my gratitude to the hardworking staff of the heritage unit who are bringing all of these changes to life. I commend the release of the FOI decision into the ACT Heritage Council review to the Assembly as an important first step to informing our reform journey.

I present the following papers:

ACT Heritage Council Review—Ministerial statement, 22 March 2023.

Review of the ACT Heritage Council—Report for internal use—ACT Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (Redacted), dated November 2022, in response to the Assembly Resolution of 9 February 2023.

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the papers.

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (10.32): I would like to thank the minister for her ministerial statement this morning. I have had the opportunity prior to today to look at the document that was provided because I received it under FOI. What we have seen

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