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New Protections for Heritage Places Passes the Upper House

22 February 2024

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS (17:31): I want to thank all members for their contributions: the Hon. Frank Pangallo, the Hon. Nicola Centofanti and the Hon. Emily Bourke. I know that we have had a few disagreements in the chamber this week, but it is nice to end on a Thursday with a moment of agreement where we see all parties on the same page in terms of dealing with this issue.

Many members have touched on the details of the bill, so I do not think it is necessary for me to go through them all again. Suffice to say the clear intention here is to give the relevant minister increased powers regarding those who are sitting on our iconic heritage buildings and allowing them to rot. This bill gives the minister the power to step in and incentivise those buildings being activated.

One of the key changes here is that, as part of a heritage agreement, the minister could potentially step in for the management or occupation of the site. It has always been the view of the Greens that it is morally wrong that we have these iconic buildings sitting there vacant in the middle of a once-in-a-generation housing crisis, so we should be doing everything we can to incentivise the activation of those buildings.

Another of the issues the Greens have been concerned about has been the lack of appropriate penalties for noncompliance, and that is another issue this bill seeks to address. I thank all members for their support. In particular, I want to thank Minister Susan Close's office. I have been in regular communication with the minister regarding this issue and look forward to, hopefully, this bill being supported down the track in the other place.

Bill read a second time.


Committee Stage

Bill taken through committee without amendment.


Third Reading

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS (17:35): I move:

That this bill be now read a third time.

Bill read a third time and passed.