Compliance with the Heritage Act 1977

Compliance with the Heritage Act 1977

We work with the community to preserve, manage and protect NSW heritage.

Places, buildings, works, relics (including those recovered through archaeology), movable objects and precincts that are of heritage significance are protected under the Heritage Act 1977. 

Heritage NSW manages compliance under the Heritage Act 1977. There are two key documents that guide our work.

  • The Compliance Framework  guides how we manage compliance with the Heritage Act 1977. It is supported by the Compliance Policy and the Compliance and Investigation Manual (internal).
  • The Compliance Policy  outlines the principles we use to provide fair, legally robust, credible and consistent decision-making when dealing with non–compliance with the Heritage Act 1977.

There are a range of options Heritage NSW use in addressing non-compliance. These are presented in the diagram below.


Compliance Framework

Options which may be use in addressing non-compliance. Individual elements may be applied on their own, together and may commence at any point during the compliance investigation process.

Principles of Compliance

Our compliance and enforcement activities follow six key values;

Consistent – we use procedures that make sure we respond to alleged breaches in a consistent way.

Targeted – we use a risk assessment tool to assess potential breaches and to target those that pose the greatest risk to heritage.

Proportional – we make sure that compliance responses are equal to the seriousness of the breach and culpability of those involved.

Supportive – we support and promote voluntary compliance by working to resolve breaches promptly. We also support owners and managers of heritage items and places in becoming compliant with the Heritage Act 1977.

Transparent – we report the outcomes of compliance matters to the Heritage Council of NSW and the Department of Premier & Cabinet Senior Management Team.

Ethical and legal – our employees act in accordance with the Code of Ethics and Conduct for NSW Government sector employees, and within the limits of the legal powers in the Heritage Act 1977.

Heritage Compliance Framework and Heritage Compliance Policy are in featured pub modules on the RHS.

If you would like to report a potential breach of the Heritage Act 1977, please complete this form and return it to Heritage NSW.