Heritage refresh to tell Canberra’s stories


It’s time for community input on a proposed refresh of the ACT’s heritage system, to better identify, protect and celebrate places of natural and cultural significance.

“Heritage is part of our living history. It shapes our understanding of who we are, where we are, and how we live,” said Minister for Heritage Rebecca Vassarotti.

“A comprehensive review of our heritage system has come out with a suite of recommendations for reforms. I want to hear Canberrans’ feedback on issues like transparency in decision-making, access to information, whether you see any risks or unintended consequences, and how you’d rank the importance of each proposed reform.

“There are two key themes in the review: establishing ACT Aboriginal People as the decision makers on their cultural heritage, and the need to strengthen the governance and administration of the ACT’s heritage arrangements.

“It is crucial we have well-functioning heritage arrangements that recognise and conserve natural, cultural and First Nations heritage for current and future generations.

“There is no need for heritage to be in conflict with the growth of our city, as we modernise to meet the challenge of climate change. Heritage has the power to enhance our experience of our city, wherever we live, work or enjoy our natural surrounds,” said Minister Vassarotti.

“As well as two online surveys, we’re holding consultation sessions online and in-person to facilitate in-depth conversations with First Nations, general community and industry members.”

The external review, announced in December 2022, has involved exploring best practice models for heritage laws, frameworks and arrangements from other jurisdictions and proposing a fit for purpose model for the ACT.

The government appointed an interim Heritage Council in April to continue to deliver council responsibilities under the Heritage Act 2004 and to support this comprehensive review and reform process.

View the full report and have your say on the ACT heritage system reforms through the YourSay Conversations website.

Find out more about heritage in the ACT on the ACT Environment website.