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Delegations

The Heritage Council of NSW has delegated some of its functions under the Heritage Act 1977 to allow timely decision making for changes to State Heritage Register listed items and/or activities that may have minor impact to historic archaeological sites.

NSW Government agency delegations

Delegations to NSW Government agencies enable these public agencies to be more efficient in self-managing the heritage assets they own or manage. For example senior officers within Place Management NSW and Sydney Water exercise various delegations under the Heritage Act 1977.

Senior officers in Heritage NSW also exercise delegations as the NSW Government agency supporting the Heritage Council of NSW in administering the Heritage Act.  

To find out if a Heritage Council delegation may apply to a State Heritage Register (SHR) listed item, contact us or the NSW Government agency who owns the item. Check the State Heritage Inventory to see who owns the item.

The City of Sydney Council can now also issue approvals for changes to SHR items within their local government area, on behalf of the Heritage Council. Refer to more information below about the City of Sydney Council delegation. All NSW Government agencies with delegation will continue to make decisions for their SHR items within the City of Sydney local government area.

Exemptions from the Minister

The Minister responsible for heritage also grants exemptions from approval to some NSW Government agencies. For example Sydney Living Museums has an exemption from approval for works to SHR items they own or manage. Transport for NSW have exemptions for some maintenance works and other activities such as infrastructure repairs and upgrades, signage, and community initiatives and special events. Exemptions are published in the NSW Government Gazette.

Local government example: City of Sydney Council delegation under Heritage Act 1977

To cut red tape and reduce assessment time frames, the Heritage Council of NSW has delegated a range of regulatory functions to City of Sydney Council. The delegation allows the City of Sydney Council to grant exemptions or approvals for changes to State Heritage Register listed items where the works would not have a major adverse impact – or materially affect – the important heritage values.

The Heritage Council of NSW will continue to determine applications that impact state significant archaeology and historic shipwrecks. However, the Heritage Council of NSW will collaborate with the City of Sydney Council in the assessment and determination of applications which have a relatively minor archaeological component. The City of Sydney Council will not exercise delegation for archaeological exceptions (s139), or excavation permits (s140 or 144(b)).

From 1 September 2020 the delegated functions were formally activated. That is, City of Sydney Council now assesses and determines applications under the Heritage Act 1977.

More information: