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Heritage Council of NSW

The Heritage Council of NSW is established under the NSW Heritage Act 1977. It is an independent statutory body that includes members of the community, the public sector, the conservation profession and a nominee of the National Trust of Australia (NSW).

The Heritage Council of NSW advises the Minister responsible for administering the Heritage Act 1977 on heritage matters in NSW and makes recommendations to the Minister for the listing of places and objects on the State Heritage Register.

The role of the Heritage Council of NSW is to make decisions about the care and protection of heritage places and items that have been identified as being of State significance.

All Heritage Council approvals are undertaken with respect to the Burra Charter.

The Australia ICOMOS Charter for Places of Cultural Significance, The Burra Charter, 2013 (Burra Charter) and the associated series of Practice Notes provide a best practice standard for managing cultural heritage places in Australia. In 2013 the Heritage Council of NSW endorsed the Burra Charter as underpinning all applications for change to State Heritage Register listed Items. First adopted in 1979, the Burra Charter is periodically updated to reflect developing understanding of the theory and practice of cultural heritage management.

The role and functions of the Heritage Council of NSW are created by the Heritage Act 1977 and its membership reflects a cross-section of the community, government and the heritage industry.

The Heritage Council of NSW is appointed by the NSW Government to:

  • Provide advice on heritage matters to the Minister
  • Recommend items of State significance for listing on the State Heritage Register
  • Recommend the interim protection of potential heritage items so that an assessment of their significance can be made
  • Determine proposed changes to items on the State Heritage Register to retain the items' heritage significance
  • Advise the community on heritage matters.

The Council’s Strategic Focus Areas for 2019 - 2022 are:


The Heritage Council has delegated some of its decision making to its committees. The role of the committees is to provide high-level specialist knowledge, skills and experience to assist the Heritage Council in making informed decisions. Some of the committees meet on a monthly basis, others meet as required.

For further information, please contact: 

Heritage NSW

Phone: (02) 9873 8500