Cash to prop up heritage

BRENTON GARN

HERITAGE-listed property owners struggling with maintenance costs may receive relief next year. Up to $50,000 will be made available for general conservation works on individual properties as part of $5 million in state government funding. John Farnbach, owner of a heritage-listed property in Ipswich CBD, welcomed the grant but was concerned many owners would miss-out. "It will be interesting to see the actual guidelines," Mr Farnbach said. "A house like mine may struggle to receive any money from this. What's to say the heritage significance of my building won't be given priority when it's compared to a National Heritage Listed property or a church under the Queensland Heritage Register?" There are 56 state-listed heritage properties in the Ipswich district with more than 7000 locally-listed heritage properties identified under the Local Government Planning Scheme. Environment Minister Lindy Nelson-Carr said selection would not be a lottery but determined by specific criteria. "These include urgency, heritage significance, the value of the heritage place to the community, extent of public access, access to other sources of funding and the existence of a conservation plan," Ms Nelson-Carr said. Mr Farnbach said the $50,000 amount was long-overdue but was "far from enough". "I know it costs tens-of-thousands of dollars for paint jobs and as soon as you start on structural work, it's very tricky and very expensive," he said. Those interested in applying for a grant in the first round of funding must submit an expression of interest by March 31 next year. Enquiries: 3227 6499 or visit www.epa.qld.gov.au



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