A little-known aspect of Southern Australia’s natural environment has long been its southern lifestyle.
In fact, it is one of the reasons the southern continent can be so spectacularly beautiful, from the stunning beaches to the breathtaking forests.
But it is also one of its biggest challenges.
For more than 100 years, the South Australian government has been fighting to protect the state’s natural heritage from the encroachment of development.
A new study from a leading conservation group is raising the stakes by calling for a complete rethink of the state government’s approach to protecting the heritage of southern heritage.
The South Australian Heritage Trust has launched a new study that says the state should rethink the way it views its heritage, with its own definition of heritage being a set of unique cultural characteristics and behaviours that define our community.
The study, published in the journal Australian Heritage, recommends the state remove some of the most controversial points in its heritage strategy.
It suggests changing the definition of the word heritage to mean something different from the current understanding, which is defined as “an intangible property of an identifiable group that is protected by law, the constitution or other state or federal legislation”.
In the current definition, the trust says the word does not mean “a specific cultural heritage, cultural identity, or a specific cultural expression”.
“It is not a unique cultural characteristic or expression.
The definition is a set for a specific set of behaviours,” the study says.
The new definition would mean that the trust would be able to remove some areas of the heritage list that are now threatened by development.
“This would make a huge difference to our ability to protect and conserve heritage and we are committed to making this happen,” the report says.
According to the trust, its own study in 2017 showed the state was missing out on more than $15 million in heritage protection spending because it didn’t have the required cultural awareness.
“What we are seeing is a complete lack of engagement by the government with the heritage and cultural sector, which has resulted in many of our most cherished areas of heritage disappearing,” the trust said.
But the government is not the only one in need of a rethink.
In 2017, the state Government was forced to back down on its plan to build a $300 million tourism centre at Maroochydore National Park, because of concerns about its impact on the historic Maroochyydore.
The government said the centre would not affect its heritage because it was a cultural heritage.
But the Trust said this was not the case, as the Maroochiedore heritage included sites that were already protected by the State Heritage Management Act.
While the Marootydore was one of South Australia’s most iconic natural wonders, the Trust says it was not a natural heritage in 2017 and the government should be looking at changing the current conservation strategy.
“We want to see the government work with the community to improve our heritage management and ensure it is more effective in protecting our heritage than it currently is,” the Trust’s CEO, Robyn Edwards, said.
The State Heritage Strategy was first established in 2002.
After more than four decades of review, the strategy includes more than 40 protected areas, and has protected a number of historic sites.
This includes the Marooski, the iconic Aboriginal burial ground in the Maroopaloo, and the Marongoo river.
To date, the Government has only protected about four of the area’s 10 most important cultural features, and there is no plan to protect another, the report said.
“We need to ensure the State Government has a clear vision of the way forward in protecting the Maroomyydore heritage,” Ms Edwards said.
The South Australia government said it was “disappointed” the study had recommended the state change its heritage management strategy.