Heritage needs incentives

I RESPOND to “Heritage Listing Hits Nest Eggs” (Business News, January 11) from Perth City Councillor Bert Tudori, about the financial implications of heritage.

A view was expressed that the ‘cost of heritage’ should be paid for by the community. I believe that, through public funds, the community should contribute to- but not fully bear, the cost of preservation.

Insufficient grant money from the State Government to assist owners with this is a significant issue in heritage administration.

Local government also needs to make incentives available and I understand that the Perth City Council has done considerable work on this area.

Cr. Tudori explained that many properties valued as heritage are, to their owners, “superannuation” or business assets.

Regarding the former, I question whether this is actually about superannuation- which is to provide adequate income after retirement- or making substantial profit.

This may well be considered the private business of the owners, but it is an enormous loss to a city when its original buildings are demolished.

Neither financial matters nor any other issues have presented extensive heritage conservation inter-state and overseas, where historic buildings are highly valued (and very valuable in monitory terms also).

Perth, however, seems to lack civic pride - which includes reverence of heritage structures- and a culture of capitalising has had priority over all else.

I hope that in the new millennium, which is a time to focus on our history, that we will see substantial improvements in heritage administration at both state and local government levels.

Tina Spadaccini

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