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Heritage listing hits nest eggs

WHILE welcoming Tina Spadaccini’s enthusiasm and dedication for the preservation of our architectural heritage (Business News 14 December, 2000), I feel it is essential that the pursuit of this worthy cause is accompanied by practical measures to ensure that the burden of this preservation is shared by the whole community.

The negative impact on the value of over 700 properties listed within the City of Perth should not be underestimated. Many of these properties were purchased as a form of personal superannuation many years ago with their now aged owners being informed that the nest egg resulting from their life-long savings has been heritage-listed and thus significantly down-valued.

Other properties are the major assets of family businesses so that heritage listings for them has an impact on their ability to use this asset with their bankers, who immediately reduce the value of the heritage-listed property.

This is tantamount in registering a caveat on one’s assets.

Surely basic fairness would require that where the community through Federal, State or Local Governments places great value on its architectural heritage, the community should provide funds for its preservation.

If these funds were allocated to compensate current owners, or purchase the significant buildings at their prelisted market value, providing where necessary relocating costs, then we as a community could be justly proud of our efforts in protecting our heritage.

Until this time, the worthy efforts in this area must always be tainted by the gross injustice inflicted on the aged and the small family businesses in our community who have purchased these properties.

Councillor Bert Tudori,

Perth City Council

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