The State of Heritage Review: Local Heritage
More than 186,000 cultural heritage places in Victoria are protected and managed by local councils under the Planning and Environment Act 1987. Places that are of cultural heritage value to a local community are protected by Heritage Overlays, which are part of each local council planning scheme.
The Heritage Council of Victoria is responsible for the recognition and protection of state-significant cultural heritage places and objects in Victoria, under the Heritage Act 2017. While the Heritage Council is not accountable for protecting local heritage in Heritage Overlays, it does have a responsibility to advise on the management of cultural heritage across the state.
In late 2018, the Heritage Council of Victoria commenced a state-wide review into local cultural heritage recognition, protection and management arrangements.
The Review’s main aims were:
- to establish a clear picture of local cultural heritage protection and management arrangements to identify what support and improvements are needed
- to identify examples of best-practice local cultural heritage management and how this may be shared and celebrated
- to provide tangible and practical opportunities for enhancing the way State and local governments work together to recognise, protect and manage local heritage.
The Review’s final report provides a point-in-time ‘stocktake’ of the state of Victoria’s local heritage management arrangements that can be used as a point of comparison in future years.
It notes the parts of the system that are working to deliver good quality heritage protection and the areas where improvements can be made. It also recommends how the state government, local government and the Heritage Council of Victoria can take tangible steps together to ensure local cultural heritage is protected and managed well into the future.
Acknowledgements: The Heritage Council wishes to thank the local council officers, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning staff, the Municipal Association of Victoria, the National Trust and the other heritage professionals and organisations who generously contributed their time and knowledge to the Review. In particular the Heritage Council would like to acknowledge the Royal Historical Society of Victoria which kindly collated the views of its members across the state.