It's proving to be a long gestation period but a draft 'Strategy for Australia's Heritage' has recently appeared.
Begun almost exactly two years ago this consultation process is in its final trimester, with the final Strategy due for delivery in November 2014. Along the way there's been a change of federal government, and in a very positive sign, the incoming conservative government breathed new life into the stalled process.
Actually we believe that, notwithstanding the accompanying uncertainty, two years, three consultations, and the provision of ten thought provoking essays at the outset, provides a great model for any policy making process.
Minister Greg Hunt made heritage one of the four pillars of the 'Plan for a Cleaner Environment': clean air, clean water, clean land, and national heritage.
Heritage might appear to sit uncomfortably with the other objectives but the Minister has a mechanism for bringing them together: a 'Green Army'.
Significance International contributed to the June 2012, January 2014 and now May 2014 consultations. We were also invited to attend the Canberra Public Forum on 12 May to discuss the draft Strategy document with Department of the Environment staff. This was a very useful session.
In our final submission we have noted that the draft Strategy shows evidence of incorporating previous public input and learnings from the initiating Commissioned Essays and is a step forward. We also point to the sidelining of movable cultural heritage and suggest how the Strategy could be strengthened to be of real use in our shared future.
Click here to read our submission to the current consultation.
Click here to visit our new webpage which carries links to all of our submissions and our news items about them.
Click here to get details on how to make your own submission. You can use the provided template or draft a letter response, as we have chosen to do on this occasion. We encourage you to do so.