Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 10 April 2018) . . Page.. 1193 ..
it is important for heritage and other community groups to have legal standing and the capacity to provide input into relevant development proposals.
On that, our community has a good sense of how to protect heritage that may defy the expectations of some. I have seen in various places around the world some excellent examples of where heritage has been well protected whilst allowing things to change. This seems, on the face of it, a contradictory comment, but I think there are terrific examples of people working to identify what really matters and how that might be creatively protected and respected in the context of doing something different, particularly in a physical context.
One of the challenges and issues we face, particularly here in Canberra, is that, as the national capital, we fall into a strange situation whereby many of the things we think of as our local heritage in fact fall under national capital heritage protection or, indeed, fall into a no-man’s land of protection. We think there is scope for better alignment, where practical, of ACT and federal heritage protection laws to overcome the present jurisdictional complexity, which risks some sites falling between the cracks and not being protected.
One of these particular complexities is central Canberra. We support the national heritage listing of Canberra’s central national area and inclusion of the inner hills on Australia’s national heritage list. This aims to protect sites of significant heritage importance while providing a framework for future development and will necessarily include a specific reference to the Griffin plan.
One other national heritage issue that has arisen in the past few decades in the context of this national discussion is the plight of the Aboriginal tent embassy. Despite being established in 1972 and being Australia’s longest standing protest site, it is still unprotected and subject to the whim of the federal government of the day. In 1995 it was protected as a site of significance under Australian heritage legislation. Then, just years later it was taken off the heritage register by the Howard government. The tent embassy still struggles to this day to get the recognition and support it deserves.
The Greens are aware that the term “European heritage” is broadly used to mean heritage that is not Aboriginal. However, we are also mindful of the fact that over the past 200-plus years we have had migrants from all over the world come to Australia and Europeans are only one part. I was pleased, having read the blue this morning, to hear Ms Lawder clarify that she meant post-settlement or post-1788 heritage. I did think it was a strange reference. I am pleased that is clarified, because the role that so many of our migrants play is such an important part of the history of both this city and this country.
Post-settlement heritage is very interesting across Canberra. Some of it is in many ways quite a short history—even things like the bark slab huts or the slab huts that feature around this city and some of the early schoolhouses of which there are still remnants. These are a really important part of the history of this region post-settlement.