The State of Heritage Review: Local Heritage

More than 186,000 cultural heritage places in Victoria are protected by councils under the Planning and Environment Act 1987. Places that are of heritage value to a local community are protected by Heritage Overlays in each council’s 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. The Heritage Council does not protect local heritage, but it does advise on the management of cultural heritage across the state.

In late 2018, the Heritage Council commenced a state-wide review into local cultural heritage protection and management arrangements.

The Review’s main aims were:

  • to establish a clear picture of current local cultural heritage protection and management arrangements
  • to identify examples of best-practice and how this may be shared and celebrated
  • to recommend practical opportunities for enhancing the way the State and local governments work together to protect and manage local heritage.

The Review’s final report provides a point-in-time ‘stocktake’ of Victoria’s local heritage management arrangements. This can be used as a point of comparison in future years.

The Review:

  • identifies the parts of the system that deliver good quality heritage protection
  • highlights areas where improvements can be made
  • recommends how the state government, local government and the Heritage Council of Victoria can work 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 Transport 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.