Heritage (Beechwood Garden) Amendment Bill

13 Apr 2005 speecharchive

This is the second reading of the Heritage (Beechwood Garden) Amendment Bill. The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK commends the bill to the council.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

I move the second reading of this bill on behalf of Liberal members and, in particular, the member for Heysen, Ms Isobel Redmond. This bill fulfils a commitment that the honourable member gave to her constituents in regard to the protection of Beechwood Garden in Stirling. As members would no doubt recall, last year this council passed a bill which ensured that the garden would continue to be cared for. Previously, it had been in the ownership of the government. It has been sold to the owner of the house who resides within the property itself.

Concerns were expressed by some residents that the garden would not be properly protected, access provided and so forth. Protection is now being provided through an amendment to section 32 of the Heritage Act of 1993. This bill seeks to insert a schedule, which specifically relates to Beechwood Garden. In addition to naming those certificates of title, the bill also outlines some aspects of the heritage agreement. I do not propose to go into all the details of the previous debate

The ACTING PRESIDENT (Hon. R.K. Sneath): Order! Some members might want to take their seats or go outside and hold their discussions, to be fair to the speaker.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: Thank you for the courtesy, Mr Acting President. Clause 4 of the bill seeks to insert new schedule 2, and the government has added a significant variation in terms of clause 2(3) to that schedule. My understanding is that, with respect to this heritage agreement, a number of conditions will be outlined in the regulations that will enable the government to allow the owners of the property to make changes to the place without taking any rats and mice stuff back to the parliament. Some constituents in the electorate of Heysen have been concerned about the infamous saying, `We are from the government and we are here to help.'

Perhaps they do not trust the government to make decisions such as that on their behalf: they would prefer that they be brought back to the parliament for approval. That clause, which was moved and passed in the House of Assembly, provides that only significant variations will be brought back to the parliament for approval. Clause 2(3) of new schedule 2 provides:

(a)that the division of the prescribed land (being a division of land within the meaning of the Development Act); or

(b)the granting of any lease, licence, easement or other right relating to the use, occupation or control of the prescribed land (but not including a case that only involves the transfer of the prescribed land to a new owner).

In other words, the land cannot be subdivided and so forth. I foreshadow that I will be drafting an amendment (which I hope to file before the next sitting weeks) to expand that subclause somewhat because, as it reads, it has only these two conditions. We would like to see it expanded to include other substantial alterations to the terms or operation of the heritage agreement. For instance, if the owners of the property want to move a gazebo, they would need to come back to parliament, whereas if they want to move a tap they do not. Those protections would provide the local residents with a great deal more comfort. I commend this bill to the council.