NSW Heritage Act Review – public consultation process

The interior of the Sydney Opera House boasts stunning architectural details made from concrete and native woods like brush box and white birch plywood. (NSW Heritage)

On Wednesday 7 April 2021, the NSW Special Minister of State, Minister for the Public Service and Employee Relations, Aboriginal Affairs, and the Arts, the Hon. Don Harwin, (who’s portfolio includes Heritage) issued a press release titled “NSW to Modernise Heritage Protections: new Discussion Paper sets stage for Heritage Act Review”.

The NSW Government is inviting community discussion on how heritage can be better managed and protected in NSW. This is part of a government initiated review of the Heritage Act 1977.

A discussion paper has been published, which should assist with this public consultation process. No time frame for this review has been provided on either the Media Release or the Discussion Paper.

While a review of the Heritage Act is welcomed, recent public statements by some members of NSW’s state parliament suggest there may be pressure to dilute its effectiveness.

The press release and discussion paper can be found at this link.

Australia ICOMOS is extremely interested in this recently announced review, and is considering how it can best contribute. In the meantime, individual members may be interested in engaging directly with the review process, and are strongly encouraged to do so. Members can register to be kept informed about this review by sending an email to the relevant NSW Gov Team.