Heritage and public authorities
ACT Government Agencies play a critical and public role in safeguarding many of the ACT’s heritage assets for current and future generations. It is important that the Government leads by example in the way it cares for, maintains and protects these assets.
Assets owned and managed by public authorities include the Civic Merry-go-round, Callum Offices in Phillip, street furniture in registered precincts, the Yarralumla Woolshed, Dickson Library, mountain huts, the Kingston Power House, Giralang School, the Yarralumla Nursery Records, Manuka Oval, Havelock House, Yarralumla Brickworks and Lanyon Homestead.
The Heritage Act 2004 (the Act) provides statutory requirements for public authorities to report on and manage these places and objects.
In August 2017 each ACT Government Directorate will be required by the Act to provide to the ACT Heritage Council a written report detailing each heritage place or object for which the authority was responsible in the three years leading to submission of the report. The report will need to include details of disposal of any heritage assets during that three year reporting period.
The Council will maintain a database of information about the places and objects under the care and ownership of public authorities.
Upon receipt of a heritage report, the Council will review and provide feedback to the authority. Feedback may include recommendations relating to the conservation or maintenance of a heritage place or object mentioned in the report. The Council may monitor the implementation of any recommendation.
Every three years thereafter, each authority is to provide a further written report to the Council. However, if the details of a place or object have not changed since the last report, the authority is not required to report on that place or object.
Where the Council has provided comments on a heritage report, the directorate responsible must publish in its annual report any action taken, or reasons for action not taken, in response to the Council’s feedback and recommendations.
Conservation Management Plan
Under the Act, the Council may direct a public authority to prepare a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) for a place or object for which the authority is responsible. If directed to prepare a CMP, it is the responsibility of the authority to ensure that it is completed to a standard which receives approval from the Council. Note that this may require a number of revisions, following the Council’s review of the document.
In submitting a CMP for approval, an ‘Application for Approval of Conservation Management Plan’ form must be completed by the authority. This form is available on the ACT Heritage Unit’s website at www.environment.act.gov.au
CMPs provide policies for work to be undertaken for a place or object, and ensure appropriate management and maintenance. CMPs also provide clarity and certainty to undertake works in a way which is consistent with Council advice to protect the heritage significance of a place or object.
In preparing a CMP, authorities should be aware of the Council’s ‘CMP Guiding Principles’.
Regular Asset Maintenance Plans
In addition to these statutory requirements, the Council encourages all Government agencies to prepare a regular asset maintenance plan for any heritage assets under their care or ownership. The Heritage Unit is available to provide guidance in the preparation of an Asset Maintenance Plan.
For more information please contact ACT Heritage on 13 22 81.
Please note that the material in this information sheet is provided for general information only, and should not be relied upon for the purpose of a particular matter covered by the Heritage Act 2004. The Act is available at www.legislation.act.gov.au/a/2004-57/default.asp