Review of the NSW Heritage Act

The NSW Government has announced a review of the Heritage Act intended to make owning and administering heritage assets easier while elevating the economic and cultural value and relevance of heritage.

The review will underpin critical reforms impacting the practice of architecture in heritage contexts as well as the future of our heritage built forms and landscapes. We want to know what you think of the proposed reforms.

Key proposals include:

  • Adopting a set of four listing categories with tailored heritage protections
  • Implementing an abridged listing/delisting process streamlining updates
  • Introducing a new community-based nomination process
  • Adjusting the Minister’s approval threshold powers for determining the regulatory thresholds for standard exemptions, fast-track applications and standard applications for permits under the Act
  • Introducing new compliance and enforcement powers to deal with non-compliance

In developing the Institute’s submission to the government’s Standing Review Committee, we are also seeking your views on: 

  • The purpose and objects of the Act 
  • How to activate public heritage and boost heritage tourism 
  • Incentivising heritage ownership, activation and adaptive reuse 
  • How to ensure the long term sustainability and protection of SHR items 
  • Commercial and philanthropic investment opportunities 
  • How to make it easier to own and maintain a heritage property 
  • How Aboriginal cultural heritage should be considered under the Act

The Institute has formed a working group to provide feedback to government on this critical review. The group will consider all member input provided by Friday 4 June.

If you have any questions, please contact NSW Heritage Committee Chair Jennifer Preston at