Guess what? We’re not looking after our heritage places properly

The Victorian Environmental Assessment Council has released its draft proposals paper on Heritage Places. You can find it here

Not surprisingly, the Council found that management of heritage sites is seriously underfunded:

‘It is clear that there is insufficient funding for historic places on public land in Victoria. More particularly, in contrast to other jurisdictions, heritage funding comes almost exclusively from government and, of this, only a very small proportion is reliable in the medium term. Funding mostly comes from discretionary or ‘non-core’ allocations by agencies, or grants that vary greatly and unpredictably in their availability from year to year. As a result the ability of managers to plan effectively is heavily compromised, reducing cost-effectiveness and further eroding available funds.’

The Council makes a number of recommendations to remedy this deficiency, including facilitating adaptive reuse of appropriate places, and improving clarity and accountability procedures.

Public submissions on the paper are invited, and are due on December 22 at PO Box 500, East Melbourne 3002 or

FOBIF’s interest in the matter centres around the Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park, and on this we found the paper to be disappointing. We’ll report on this in the near future, and put a detailed submission to VEAC in the coming months.

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