ACT Heritage provides administrative support to the ACT Heritage Council and advice to the Minister for Planning about the range of heritage matters for which they are responsible.
ACT Heritage also provides advice and assistance to heritage property owners and other members of the community about all aspects of heritage in the ACT, including nominations, the heritage registration process, the effects of heritage listing, and conservation and architectural advice in relation to proposed works and development.
See fact sheets relating to a range of heritage related matters.
ACT Heritage also administers the annual funding of the ACT Heritage Grants Program, coordinates the annual Heritage Festival and has responsibility for other promotion and community engagement activities, including the Canberra Tracks interpretive initiative.
ACT Heritage Council
The ACT Heritage Council (the Council) is an independent, statutory body responsible for a range of provisions under the Heritage Act 2004 including:
- identifying, assessing, conserving and promoting heritage places and objects in the ACT
- making decisions about the registration of heritage places and objects
- providing advice on works and development matters in accordance with the ACT’s land planning and development system
- encouraging and assisting with appropriate management of heritage places and objects
- encouraging public interest in, and awareness of, heritage places and objects in the ACT.
The Council comprises nine members appointed by the Minister and two ex-officio members, the Chief Planning Executive and Conservator of Flora and Fauna.
See more about the Heritage Council and its members.
The Heritage Act 2004 commenced on 9 March 2005. It applies to any heritage objects in the ACT, and to any places located on Territory land. Other Commonwealth legislation applies to heritage places in the ACT located on National or designated land and is administered by the National Capital Authority and Commonwealth Government.
The Heritage Act 2004:
- establishes a system for the recognition, registration and conservation of natural and cultural heritage places and objects, including Aboriginal places and objects;
- establishes the ACT Heritage Council;
- provides for Heritage Agreements to encourage the conservation of heritage places and objects;
- establishes enforcement and offence provisions to provide greater protection for heritage places and objects; and
- provides a system integrated with land planning and development to consider development applications having regard to the heritage significance of places and to Heritage Guidelines.
The Government is introducing a more flexible and responsive system to improve the safe custodianship of our heritage for current and future generations.
We are strengthening the way damage to heritage places and objects can be dealt with to both deter people from doing damage and to make them responsible for repairing it. Visit the Damage to heritage places and objects page for more information.
The Act requires that it be reviewed after five years. Following a period of review and public consultation, an Amended Act was debated and passed on 25 September 2014.
The amended legislation builds on the framework and achievements of the existing system and seeks to deliver a more strategic and transparent approach to heritage matters. It introduces a number of provisions to strengthen the existing framework for the recognition, protection and conservation of heritage places and objects in the ACT.
The legislation and key changes are outlined in the following documents:
- Question and Answer summary Statement of key amendments;
- Information sheet: Archaeological works in the ACT – intended particularly for archaeological consultants, development proponents and Representative Aboriginal Organisations;
- Information sheet: Heritage and public authorities – intended particularly for ACT Government Agencies;
- Heritage Act 2004; and
- Explanatory Statement.