State and trends of heritage values

Component
Summary
Grade
Very poor Poor Good Very good
Confidence
In Grade In Trend
Comparability
To previous years

Statutory heritage lists are inconsistent in coverage of natural heritage places, both between jurisdictions and across site types

The National Reserve System (NRS) now includes more than 17% of terrestrial Australia, meeting the Convention on Biological Diversity target, and the comparable marine figure is more than 36%, which substantially exceeds the Aichi Target 11

The NRS is focused on incorporating the full range of ecosystems and other important environmental values across each of the 89 bioregions; 50 of these bioregions have more than 10% of their area protected in the reserve network

Year(s): 
2016
3
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Comparable

Statutory heritage lists are inconsistent in coverage of natural heritage places, both between jurisdictions and across site types. Geodiversity is poorly represented The National Reserve System focuses on incorporating examples of the full range of ecosystems and other important environmental values across each of the 85 bioregions. Although there are known gaps and alternative targets that are greater and more refined, 51 of the 85 bioregions have more than 10% of their area protected in the reserve network

Year(s): 
2011
3
Improving
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

The very limited available data relating to natural heritage values, environmental threats and management plans for natural heritage places suggest that Australia’s reserved lands are in good condition, but continue to face threats from invasive species, fires, erosion, use and effects on threatened species. Lessening of the resources available for reserve management (particularly relative to the increasing extent of reserved lands) means that these threats to natural heritage values are increasing

Year(s): 
2016
3
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Data relating to natural heritage values, environmental threats and management plans for a sample of natural heritage places indicate that Australia's reserved lands are in good condition but continue to face threats from invasive species, fires, erosion, use and effects on threatened species. There are differences in condition according to land tenure and listing status Available national information relates to a select sample and may not be truly representative

Year(s): 
2011
3
Unclear
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Low
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

There is no nationally coordinated inventory of significant Indigenous places

Survey and assessment programs for Indigenous heritage are often undertaken in response to threats from development projects, rather than proactively, owing to perceptions about cost and resource availability

There has been a major increase in dedication of Indigenous Protected Areas

Additional Indigenous places have been included on the National Heritage List

Year(s): 
2016
2
Improving
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Comparable

There is no nationally coordinated inventory of significant Indigenous places Survey and assessment programs for Indigenous heritage are most often resourced and undertaken in response to threats from development projects There is inadequate representation of Indigenous places within public sector reserved lands and on the major statutory heritage lists, particularly the National Heritage List

Year(s): 
2011
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

No nationally coordinated data exist about the condition and integrity of Indigenous heritage places. There have been many positive developments, but also some trends that significantly undermine the protection of Indigenous heritage. Recognition of the role of Indigenous people in managing Indigenous heritage has expanded, but individual assessment and development decisions continue to cause cumulative, incremental destruction of the Indigenous cultural heritage

Year(s): 
2016
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not comparable

Interest in Indigenous heritage in Australia has increased. There have been many positive developments, but also some trends that significantly undermine the protection of Indigenous heritage. Recognition of the role of Indigenous people in managing Indigenous heritage has expanded, but individual assessment and development decisions cause cumulative incremental destruction of the Indigenous cultural resource

Year(s): 
2011
2
Improving
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Despite some improvement to particular languages arising from language revitalisation programs, Indigenous languages remain highly endangered, and there has been a net reduction in the number of Indigenous languages that are actively spoken

Year(s): 
2016
1
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Comparable

Indigenous languages remain highly endangered, although there have been some improvements in the number of speakers and additional language revitalisation programs

Year(s): 
2011
1
Improving
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Progress continues to be made in the collection of data relating to statutory listing processes for historic heritage at the national and state level

The number of listed places continues to increase, and there have been more systematic, thematic historic heritage assessment projects, and projects to improve the quality of listing data

However, gaps remain in statutory registers and heritage lists, and the resources allocated to survey and assessment have declined. At the local level, processes for heritage listing are inconsistent, sometimes perceived as costly and often under-resourced

Year(s): 
2016
3
Unclear
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Somewhat adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not comparable

Significant progress has been made in the collection of data relating to statutory listing processes for historic heritage at the national and state level. Although inconsistencies remain, the number of listed places has increased and there have been more systematic, thematic historic heritage assessment projects

Year(s): 
2011
3
Improving
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

No nationally coordinated data exist about the condition and integrity of historic heritage places, but those on national, state and territory lists appear to be in good condition and retain integrity of their identified values. Idle, unused historic places remain at risk

Year(s): 
2016
2
Unclear
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not comparable

Survey of a national sample of historic heritage places indicates that the majority are in good condition and retain integrity of their identified values. Variation in the observed condition, indicating minor improvement, is likely to reflect maintenance and repair cycles, although places that are both vacant and in poor condition remain under threat

Year(s): 
2011
3
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed
Mackay R (2016). Heritage: State and trends of heritage values. In: Australia state of the environment 2016, Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy, Canberra, https://soe.environment.gov.au/assessment-summary-91-state-and-trends-heritage-values, DOI 10.4226/94/58b658bbe13a0