I was saddened recently to see a giant digger turn up at 20 Radovick Street and totally demolish a 100 year old weatherboard house without any prior notification to the public or to other possible interested parties.
Queries to the South Gippsland Shire Council revealed that in the absence of any heritage overlay, and given the fact that building permits are issued by private assessors, not local government authorities, the council has no role in the use made by a legitimate owner of a private dwelling.
South Gippsland is fortunate to have many surviving small miners-type cottages – some of them already over time removed from other districts for continued use (think of those at Coal Creek).
In these days, when housing is expensive and in short supply, why could these acquired houses not be compulsorily advertised over a specified period for re-sale and removal to another site before their destruction is allowed to go ahead?
The result would be a win-win: the owner left with a cleared site and an enhanced payment, while a young couple somewhere with a cleared block and a dream of making a home together achieve their goal. And an unpretentious little house gets another crack at life.
With immigrants being encouraged to settle in our regions, we can hardly afford to scrap viable (and historic) existing buildings so heedlessly.
(Dr) Jacky Abbott, Korumburra.