The vast majority of the state’s more than 186,000 cultural heritage places are protected and managed by local government under the Planning and Environment Act 1987. Places deemed to be of value to a local community are – or may be – protected by Heritage Overlays that are part of each local council planning scheme.
The Heritage Council of Victoria is a body whose task is principally to manage heritage places identified as of value to the State as a whole, under the Heritage Act 2017, and is not directly responsible for the application and administration of Heritage Overlays.
In 2017, archaeological excavations in Lonsdale street in Melbourne CBD revealed significant building remains (approximately the height of a single storey) at a depth of 2 metres below current ground levels dating from the first years of the city’s historic settlement.
In 2005, the Allen Consulting Group completed the report ‘Valuing the priceless: the value of historic heritage in Australia’ This study was an important milestone in heritage valuation literature as it proved the efficacy of a particular market research technique – choice modelling – as a means of eliciting the community’s willingness to pay (WTP) for heritage outcomes.