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Improving local heritage protection

Improving local heritage protection

The stories of a locality are often found in its built environment — buildings, streetscapes, landscapes, and places.

Local councils play an important role in identifying, assessing, and managing places of local cultural heritage significance. They are required to do this under the Queensland Heritage Act 1992 and Queensland’s State Planning Policy, protecting such places in local heritage registers or in local planning schemes.

But what does local cultural heritage significance mean? That’s now made clearer in Guideline to identifying and assessing places of local cultural heritage significance in Queensland, developed by the Department of Environment and Science. The guideline details a thorough step-by-step process, starting with a place satisfying 1 of 5 local cultural heritage criteria: historical; scientific; typological (aesthetic, architectural, historical); aesthetic; social and spiritual.

“Significance indicators” help determine whether a place meets a specific heritage criterion. Actual examples of local places that would meet the criteria are included too.

The guideline also offers advice on preparing and writing a Statement of Local Cultural Heritage Significance.

The guideline’s use extends to property owners, consultants, and heritage professionals by:

  • assisting local government authorities and professionals (planners, architects, historians, archaeologists, heritage managers and others) to identify and assess places of local cultural heritage significance
  • helping owners to understand why their property is of local cultural heritage significance
  • enabling the wider community to distinguish the difference between places of local “character” and places of local cultural heritage significance.

Extensively researched and compiled by Queensland’s leading heritage experts, the local cultural heritage significant assessment guideline is in line with the Australia International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) Charter for the Conservation of Places of Cultural Significance, also known as the Burra Charter, which underpins most state and federal heritage legislation in Australia.

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