PUT A STAMP ON IT: The old post office in Rockhampton is a fine example of the wonderful old buildings found across regional Australia.
PUT A STAMP ON IT: The old post office in Rockhampton is a fine example of the wonderful old buildings found across regional Australia. Chris Ison ROK010116cnow3

Call to value our heritage

AS WE grow as a country, we need lots of new places to put people, but we are tearing down our history to make room for bigger buildings that make our suburbs all look the same.

Line after line of massive new homes, built to the limits of the block, with a strip of grass out the front to remind us we live in a bush country.

I have long admired Tim Ross for his comedic and broadcasting abilities. In recent years he has shown an infectious passion for the special buildings that make Australia unique.

This week, with his trademark humour and insight, he told the National Press Club of an irreversible trend that's taking over; an obsession with the new that is robbing us of the places that, as he said, come from the background of our collective photo album.

Distinctive old schools, shops, public buildings and most importantly homes that stand out of the crowd.

He's not talking about kooky for the sake of kooky, but different for the sake of true community.

"Our suburbs and our cities should be like our record collections. You should have some of the new stuff, some of the old stuff and some rubbish in between to remind us of where we have come from. But unfortunately our cities have a little bit too much Nickelback going on at the moment,” said Rosso.

Regional Australia has some of the best buildings in the country; the old post office, police station and workers' homes make their mark on a community in a way row after row of project homes or cities filled with glass don't.

His call to arms was for all of us to save some of the buildings that have fallen out of fashion, because while we may not value them now, the truth is we will in 50, 70 or 100 years.

While change is inevitable, wiping the slate clean is unnecessary.

We need to keep the symbols of the places generations who built this great country called home and make the most of our opportunity to add to that design history if we get the chance to build something new.


THE national media had a chance to listen to the concerns of regional Australia this week; instead, they remain consumed by Canberra games and the man who says he's retired from politics.

On Wednesday night, Prime Minister Scott Morrison took questions from people in Townsville about everything from water to veterans in a forum on my TV show on Sky News. But unless you were watching, you probably didn't hear about it or, more importantly, you didn't get to see what people really care about.

Instead, the Canberra press ran with a made-up story about a plan for two elections next year and went wall to wall on the former Prime Minister on Channel 2.

People in regional Australia have every right to feel they are ignored by big city media who only seem to care when it's times of disaster or drought. They seem to think 'voters' only matter in the city and only count when they talk about the things they care about.

This is simply not true.

I'm pleased to say the PM is keen to do many more regional forums between now and the election and I hope the Canberra media take the chance to listen to what people outside their little bubble care about.

Paul Murray is a broadcaster with Sky News. He can be seen on Paul Murray LIVE from 9pm AEDT Sunday to Thursday on Foxtel channel 600 and Sky News on WIN.