National Art School Campus Photo Chris Philips

National Art School campus - Chris Philips

NSW Heritage Act review

The NSW Government is inviting community discussion on how heritage can be better managed and protected in NSW.

The NSW Government is reviewing the NSW Heritage Act 1977 to determine how heritage can be better managed and protected in NSW.

In April 2021 the government asked the NSW Legislative Council’s Social Issues Standing Committee to conduct an inquiry into the NSW Heritage Act.

The inquiry (the review) is looking at the effectiveness of the Heritage Act and the NSW heritage regulatory system, along with heritage aspects of the Environmental Protection and Assessment Act 1979. The Standing Committee review will provide an opportunity for all key stakeholders and the broader community to have their say on government heritage policy.

See the Terms of Reference for the review

On 13 May 2021 the Standing Committee formally commenced the review and announced a six week period for public submissions, closing 27 June 2021. The Committee later announced a one-week extension for public submissions, closing 4 July 2021.

The period for public submission on the Heritage Act review is now closed.

Public Hearings

After reviewing the public submissions, the Standing Committee will hold public hearings to be further informed by selected witnesses. The two proposed dates for public hearings are 2 August and 6 August 2021.  

Following public hearings, the Standing Committee will report to the government on its findings. The public submissions, transcripts of the hearings and the Standing Committee’s final report will all be made available to the public.

Why is the Act being reviewed?

The NSW Heritage Act 1977 was first introduced over forty years ago. The Act has not been reviewed since 2007 and there have been no major reforms since 1999.

The purpose of the review is to see how NSW can deliver more effective, relevant, and best-practice ways of recognising, conserving, re-using and celebrating the important heritage of NSW. The findings of the review will contribute to the evidence base for legislative reform.

Discussion paper

To encourage public discussion and community input, in April this year the NSW Government published a discussion paper. The discussion paper reflects on the current heritage system, considers some alternatives and poses some questions to assist with public consultation.

More information

If you would like to make a written inquiry to Heritage NSW, please email us at Heritage.Policy2@environment.nsw.gov.au