Effectiveness of heritage management

Component
Summary
Grade
Ineffective Partially effective Effective Very effective
Confidence
In Grade In Trend
Comparability
To previous years

Natural heritage—understanding

This assessment summary component has changed from 2011.

  • the 2011 assessments were grouped differently

The original 2011 summary, grade, trend and confidence levels have been replicated here to assist comparison of changes between reporting cycles.

Understanding: Australian park managers have a good understanding of statutory controls, management needs, and processes of Australia’s bioregions and subregions. The natural heritage values of most reserved lands are understood. Discussion and debate continue about matters such as what constitutes an adequate sample; how to create ecological connectivity; the size and configuration of reserves; and how to account for habitat, resilience and recovery

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

Topics

Identification

Context: Australian park managers have a good understanding of Australia’s bioregions and subregions. The specific heritage values of most reserved lands are understood. Discussion and debate continue on matters such as what constitutes an adequate sample, how to create landscape connectivity, the size and configuration of reserves, and how to account for habitat, resilience and recovery

Year(s): 
2011
4
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Topics

Management

Context: Management needs and processes are well understood by Australian park managers

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

Topics

Protection

Context: Statutory controls for listed natural heritage places and the reservation system are well understood by park and place managers

Year(s): 
2011
4
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Topics

Natural heritage—planning

This assessment summary component has changed from 2011.

  • The 2011 assessments were grouped differently

The original 2011 summary, grade, trend and confidence levels have been replicated here to assist comparison of changes between reporting cycles.

Planning: The National Reserve System has a clear aim to include 10% of each of Australia’s bioregions, and is seeking to include bioregions that are poorly represented in reserved lands. However, additional work on related factors, such as habitat and connectivity, is needed to understand what constitutes an adequate sample of reserved lands

Natural heritage should be better represented on statutory heritage registers

Many, but not all, major national parks and reserved lands have management plans, with well-resolved provisions and appropriate regulatory controls

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

Topics

Identification 

Planning: There is a clear aim to include 10% of each of Australia's bioregions within the National Reserve System Natural heritage should be better represented on statutory heritage registers

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

Topics

Management

Planning: Many, but not all, major national parks and reserved lands have management plans, with well-resolved provisions and appropriate regulatory controls. Responses to pressures and management responsibilities are clearly identified

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

Topics

Protection

Planning: The National Reserve System program is seeking to include bioregions that are poorly represented in reserved lands. However, additional work on related factors such as habitat and connectivity is needed to understand what constitutes an adequate sample of reserved lands

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

Topics

Natural heritage—inputs

This assessment summary component has changed from 2011.

  • The 2011 assessment were grouped differently

The original 2011 summary, grade, trend and confidence levels have been replicated here to assist comparison of changes between reporting cycles.

Inputs: Funding for reservation of additional lands of conservation value continues to be substantially dependent on public-sector budget allocations and opportunistic acquisition

Additional land reservation occurs without proportional increases in public-sector resourcing. Resourcing for survey and assessment is modest compared with the size and significance of the resource

Staffing levels in national park agencies have remained relatively static, but have declined in proportion to the significantly increased extent of reserved national park lands

Australian parks and Indigenous Protected Areas are understaffed, and lack adequate resources to address major conservation priorities, including emerging urgent pressures

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

Identification

Inputs: Funding for survey and assessment of natural values is declining. Reservation of additional lands of conservation value continues to be substantially dependant on public sector budget allocations and opportunistic acquisition

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

Management

Inputs: The majority of Australian parks are understaffed and lack adequate resources to address major conservation priorities, including emerging urgent pressures. Conservation programs are constrained by available resources

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

Protection:

Inputs: Additional land reservation occurs without proportional increases in public sector resourcing. Resourcing for survey and assessment is modest compared to the size and significance of the resource, and is declining

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

Natural heritage—processes

This assessment summary component has changed from 2011.

  • The 2011 assessments were grouped differently

The original 2011 summary, grade, trend and confidence levels have been replicated here to assist comparison of changes between reporting cycles.

Processes: Management systems in parks identify conservation needs and make well-informed decisions about impact assessment and resource allocation. However, formal monitoring and evaluation occurs in only some jurisdictions

The National Reserve System offers a coordinated response to the need for a nationwide reserve system. Listing processes for other aspects of natural heritage, such as geological heritage, are less well coordinated and transparent. National, state and territory, and local protective measures and controls are less well understood by the general community

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

Topics

Identification

Processes: The National Reserve System provides an overall framework for assessments, which generally take place at the state or local level

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

Topics

Management

Processes: Management systems in parks identify conservation needs and make well-informed decisions about impact assessment and resource allocation. However, formal monitoring and evaluation occurs in few jurisdictions

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

Topics

Protection

Processes: The National Reserve System offers a coordinated response to the need for a nationwide reserve system. Listing processes for other aspects of natural heritage are less well coordinated and transparent. Federal, state and local protective measures and controls are less well understood by the general community

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

Topics

Natural heritage—outcomes

This assessment summary component has changed from 2011.

  • The 2011 assessments were grouped differently

The original 2011 summary, grade, trend and confidence levels have been replicated here to assist comparison of changes between reporting cycles.
 

Outcomes: Australia’s reserves include a sample of more than 10% for 48 of the nation’s 89 bioregions, and more than 30% of marine areas. However, when considering other factors such as habitat and connectivity, there is still work to be done to improve the representativeness of terrestrial reserves

Limited information is available about the state of parks, but available data suggest that heritage values are generally being retained, with some decline evident

Natural heritage areas have management measures in place to address threats within the bounds of available resources. The natural heritage values of parks and listed natural heritage sites are generally being retained

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

Topics

Identification

Outcomes: Australia's reserved lands include a sample of more than 10% for 51 of the nation's 85 bioregions; however, taking other factors like habitat and connectivity into account, the reserved lands may only cover one-third of an adequate selection

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

Topics

Management

Outcomes: Limited information is available on the state of parks, as only New South Wales and Victoria undertake substantive monitoring and evaluation of outcomes. Available data suggest that heritage values are generally being retained, with some decline evident

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

Topics

Protection

Outcomes: Natural heritage areas have management measures in place to address threats within the bounds of available resources. Natural heritage values of parks and listed natural heritage sites are generally being retained

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

Topics

Leadership: The Australian Heritage Strategy provides a strong vision and clear set of target outcomes for the future of Australia’s heritage. At a national level, there is a strong focus on the National Reserve System, and a structure is in place to facilitate information sharing. However, each jurisdiction has a separate statutory basis, and different structures and processes for natural heritage management

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

Leadership: At a national level, there is a strong focus on the National Reserve System and a structure is in place to facilitate information sharing. However, each jurisdiction has a separate statutory basis, and different structures and processes for natural heritage management

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

Celebration: The Australian Heritage Strategy strongly supports the celebration of Australia’s heritage. Australian national parks and other recognised natural heritage places remain accessible to the community, are strongly promoted within Australia and overseas, are presented to visitors in engaging ways, and are often important elements in community identity and sense of place

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

Celebration: Australian national parks and other recognised natural heritage places are accessible to the community, strongly promoted within Australia and overseas, presented to visitors in engaging ways, and often important elements in community identity and sense of place

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

Indigenous heritage—understanding

This assessment summary component has changed from 2011.

  • The 2011 assessment were grouped differently

The original 2011 summary, grade, trend and confidence levels have been replicated here to assist comparison of changes between reporting cycles.

Understanding: Understanding of the nature and extent of Australia’s Indigenous heritage, both tangible and intangible, is inadequate. Indigenous places are often considered as individual sites, rather than part of the rich cultural landscape that is Country

Although Indigenous people have an increasing role, the principles and practices of traditional land and sea management need to be more widely applied

Statutory controls for Indigenous heritage places are generally understood, despite jurisdictional inconsistencies

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

Topics

Identification

Context: Understanding of the nature and extent of Australia’s Indigenous heritage, both tangible and intangible, is inadequate. Indigenous places are also typically seen as individual physical sites rather than part of the rich cultural landscape that is country

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

Topics

Management

Context: Managers and decision-makers do not always fully understand the needs and processes that apply to Indigenous heritage, especially the role of traditional land and sea management. However, there has been significant recent improvement, including an increasing role for Indigenous people

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

Topics

Protection:

Context: Statutory controls for Indigenous heritage places are generally understood, despite jurisdictional inconsistencies

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

Topics

Indigenous heritage—planning

This assessment summary component has changed from 2011.

  • The 2011 assessments were grouped differently

The original 2011 summary, grade, trend and confidence levels have been replicated here to assist comparison of changes between reporting cycles.

Planning: Indigenous heritage requires nationally coordinated policies and processes that proactively identify and protect significant sites and places

Very substantial increases in the number and extent of Indigenous Protected Areas have been seen. Indigenous heritage remains under-represented on statutory heritage lists and registers, owing to lack of survey in many areas, but is also supported by statutes that provide blanket protection. Unlisted Indigenous heritage places suffer from lack of planning processes

Statutory provisions for Indigenous heritage increasingly provide inclusive roles for traditional owners, but also permit ongoing incremental destruction of Indigenous heritage

Management plans for reserved lands usually include provisions for Indigenous heritage management, which have been prepared in consultation with traditional owners. Standalone Indigenous land and sea management plans are also being prepared. However, many significant Indigenous places lack management plans

Year(s): 
2016
2
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Somewhat adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Somewhat adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not comparable

Topics

Identification:

Planning: There is a clear need for nationally coordinated policies and programs that proactively document and assess Indigenous heritage, rather than reactively responding to threats

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

Topics

Management:

Planning: Management plans for reserved lands usually include provisions for Indigenous heritage management, with well-resolved provisions that have been prepared in consultation with traditional owners. Stand-alone Indigenous land and sea management plans are also being prepared. Unlisted Indigenous heritage places suffer from lack of planning processes

 

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

Topics

Protection:

Planning: Indigenous heritage is under-represented on statutory heritage lists and registers and is not effectively supported by statutes that claim to provide blanket protection, but also allow progressive site destruction

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

Topics

Indigenous heritage—inputs

This assessment summary component has changed from 2011.

  • The 2011 assessments were grouped differently

The original 2011 summary, grade, trend and confidence levels have been replicated here to assist comparison of changes between reporting cycles.

Inputs: Resources available for documenting intangible Indigenous heritage and country are inadequate. Funding for survey and assessment is often available only in response to development threats

The staffing levels of Indigenous heritage agencies appear to have remained steady, but it is not possible to ascertain a definitive picture in the absence of national coordination and consistently gathered data

The resources allocated for conservation of Indigenous heritage places and intangible heritage have increased, but remain inadequate and are often allocated as a post-event reaction to adverse impacts

Insufficient attention is paid to intangible values and places, and to effective means of providing protection in ways other than listing or reservation within reserved lands

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

Identification:

Inputs: Funding for survey and assessment of Indigenous heritage values is usually directly proportional to the threat posed by a particular development. Resources available for documenting intangible heritage and country are inadequate

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

Management

Inputs: Australia’s listed Indigenous sites (and even land-management programs such as Caring for our Country) do not allocate adequate resources to address major conservation priorities. Conservation programs for intangible heritage are severely constrained by limits on available resources

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

Protection

Inputs: Resources allocated for listing and protection of Indigenous heritage places are inadequate and often a post-event reaction to adverse impacts. Insufficient attention is paid to intangible values and places, and to effective means of providing protection in ways other than listing or reservation

 

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

Indigenous heritage—processes

This assessment summary component has changed from 2011.

  • the 2011 assessments were grouped differently

The original 2011 summary, grade, trend and confidence levels have been replicated here to assist comparison of changes between reporting cycles.
 

Processes: The Australian Government is seeking to provide leadership in Indigenous heritage management, through nationally coordinated guidelines and standards. However, there is no national mechanism for coordinating Indigenous heritage

Management systems for Indigenous heritage places within jointly managed parks identify conservation needs, involve traditional owners and make generally well-informed decisions

Outside the reserved lands system, some Indigenous heritage decisions involve traditional owners and facilitate good conservation outcomes

In some jurisdictions, the process for assessment and decision-making about impact on Indigenous heritage is less consultative and more development driven

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

Topics

Identification

Processes: The National Reserve System provides an overall framework for assessments, which generally take place at the state or local level

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

Topics

Management

Processes: Management systems in parks identify conservation needs and make well-informed decisions about impact assessment and resource allocation. However, formal monitoring and evaluation occurs in few jurisdictions

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

Topics

Protection

Processes: The National Reserve System offers a coordinated response to the need for a nationwide reserve system. Listing processes for other aspects of natural heritage are less well coordinated and transparent. Federal, state and local protective measures and controls are less well understood by the general community

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

Topics

Indigenous heritage—outcomes

This assessment summary component has changed from 2011.

  • The 2011 assessments were grouped differently

The original 2011 summary, grade, trend and confidence levels have been replicated here to assist comparison of changes between reporting cycles.

Outcomes: It is not possible to ascertain whether the number of identified, listed and protected Indigenous heritage places is adequate, owing to lack of national coordination and data sharing. However, the significant increase in the number and extent of Indigenous Protected Areas is encouraging

Very limited, partial information is available on the effects of management action on the values of Australia’s Indigenous heritage. Initiatives such as 'Working on Country' are positive

The heritage values of Indigenous places in reserved lands or under Indigenous management are being retained. However, incomplete understanding of the resource and the current processes used to respond to development pressures means that other Indigenous heritage sites continue to be at risk

Year(s): 
2016
2
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Very limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Very limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not comparable

Topics

Identification

Outcomes: It is not possible to ascertain whether identified, listed and protected Indigenous heritage places provide a representative or adequate sample

Year(s): 
2011
0
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Low
Confidence (in trend): 
Low
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Topics

Management

Outcomes: Very limited, partial information is available on the effects of management action on the values of Australia’s Indigenous heritage 

There is no evidence of formal evaluation of outcomes

Year(s): 
2011
0
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Low
Confidence (in trend): 
Low
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Topics

Protection:

Outcomes: The heritage values of Indigenous places in reserved lands or under Indigenous management are being retained. However, our incomplete understanding of the resource and the current processes used to respond to development pressures mean that other Indigenous heritage sites continue to be at risk

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

Topics

Leadership: Although the Australian Heritage Strategy provides a strong vision and a clear set of target outcomes, the national picture for Indigenous heritage is not cohesive. Australian governments neither coordinate management of Indigenous heritage resources nor adequately share information

The Australian Heritage Strategy emphasises the need for a consistent approach to the recognition, protection and management of Indigenous heritage sites across all levels of government

Capacity building, leadership and succession planning for Australian Indigenous heritage management are needed

Year(s): 
2016
2
Improving
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Topics

Leadership:There is no cohesive national picture for Indigenous heritage, and no adequate action by government agencies to coordinate management of Indigenous heritage resources and share information. Each jurisdiction has a separate statutory basis and different structures and processes for Indigenous heritage management

Year(s): 
2011
2
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate

Topics

Celebration: The Australian Heritage Strategy strongly supports the celebration of Australia’s heritage

Australia’s Indigenous heritage is celebrated by Indigenous people, and increasingly presented by Indigenous people in accordance with relevant cultural practices, but could be more accessible to the wider community, and more strongly promoted within Australia and overseas

Untapped opportunities exist for greater engagement between other business sectors and Indigenous communities

Year(s): 
2016
2
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Topics

Celebration: Australia’s Indigenous heritage is celebrated by Indigenous people, often accessible to the wider community, strongly promoted within Australia and overseas, and increasingly presented by Indigenous people in accordance with relevant cultural practices

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

Topics

Historic heritage—understanding

This assessment summary component has changed from 2011.

  • The 2011 assessments were grouped differently

The original 2011 summary, grade, trend and confidence levels have been replicated here to assist comparison of changes between reporting cycles.

Understanding: Statutory lists and registers provide only a partial understanding of the extent of Australia’s historic heritage. In some areas, systematic thematic survey and assessment do provide thorough coverage. Historic places are also typically seen as individual sites rather than part of cultural landscapes

Australia’s heritage-listed historic places are numerous, but heritage registers were not populated in a systematic manner. Increasing attention is now being given to addressing this legacy issue, and greater attention is being given to the integrity of registers and representative lists

Management needs and processes are well understood by Australian historic heritage managers, but statutory processes, roles and responsibilities for historic heritage places are not well understood by the wider Australian community, owing to inconsistencies and overlap both within and between jurisdictions

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

Topics

Identification

Context: Statutory lists and registers have grown in an ad hoc manner and provide a partial understanding of the extent of Australia’s historic heritage. In some areas, systematic thematic survey and assessment provides more thorough coverage, but this is the exception. Historic places are also typically seen as individual sites rather than part of a cultural landscape

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

Topics

Management

Context: Management needs and processes are well understood by Australian historic heritage managers

Year(s): 
2011
4
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Topics

Protection

Context: Statutory controls for historic heritage places are generally understood, despite inconsistencies and overlap both within and between jurisdictions

Year(s): 
2011
4
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Topics

Historic heritage—planning

This assessment summary component has changed from 2011.

  • The 2011 assessments were grouped differently

The original 2011 summary, grade, trend and confidence levels have been replicated here to assist comparison of changes between reporting cycles.

Planning: Australian jurisdictions include identification and listing of historic heritage items at all levels of government

Many major listed historic sites have conservation management plans, with well-resolved provisions and appropriate regulatory controls. However, other significant sites lack such plans, or their plans are outdated or have inappropriate content

Historic sites receive statutory protection once they are included in statutory heritage lists, but continue to be threatened if they are seen to obstruct major development projects

In some jurisdictions, there has been a reduction in the extent of statutory heritage protection

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

Topics

Identification

Context: Statutory controls for historic heritage places are generally understood, despite inconsistencies and overlap both within and between jurisdictions

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

Topics

Management

Planning: Many, but not all, major listed historic sites have conservation management plans with well-resolved provisions and appropriate regulatory controls. However, other significant sites lack such plans, or their plans are outdated or have inappropriate content

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

Topics

Protection

Planning: Historic sites receive a high degree of statutory protection once they are identified and included in statutory heritage lists

Year(s): 
2011
4
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Topics

Historic heritage—inputs

This assessment summary component has changed from 2011.

  • The 2011 assessments were grouped differently

The original 2011 summary, grade, trend and confidence levels have been replicated here to assist comparison of changes between reporting cycles.

Inputs: Resources allocated to survey, assess and list historic heritage are not consistent, but historic places continue to be added to statutory lists and registers

The staffing levels of historic heritage agencies generally appear to have remained steady, but there are gaps and inconsistencies in available data

There has been considerable variation in allocation of grant funding for heritage conservation projects at the state and territory level

Many publicly owned Australian historic sites lack adequate resources to address major conservation priorities, including emerging urgent pressures

Private owners of historic sites do not receive incentives that are proportional to the public value of the places they own and manage

Some historic heritage places have been allocated substantial resources for conservation, but grant funding has declined across national, state and territory jurisdictions

The Australian Heritage Strategy places strong emphasis on the need to ‘explore’ a wider funding base for Australia’s heritage

Year(s): 
2016
2
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Somewhat adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Somewhat adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not comparable

Identification

Inputs: Funding for surveying and assessing historic values is difficult to measure on a national basis, but is declining for the National Heritage List

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

Management

Inputs: Many Australian historic sites in public ownership are understaffed and lack adequate resources to address major conservation priorities, including emerging urgent pressures 

Private owners of historic sites do not receive incentives that are proportional to the public value of the places they own and manage. Grant funding, though substantial during the Jobs Fund initiative, is now in decline

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

Protection

Inputs: Some historic heritage places are allocated resources for conservation, but rarely at a level that will ensure heritage values are retained across the nation. Private owners in particular could be better supported, especially through indirect means (such as tax or rates relief)

Year(s): 
2011
2
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Very limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Historic heritage—processes

This assessment summary component has changed from 2011.

  • The 2011 assessments were grouped differently

The original 2011 summary, grade, trend and confidence levels have been replicated here to assist comparison of changes between reporting cycles.

Processes: Australian Heritage Chairs and Officials of Australia and New Zealand has identified a range of relevant standards and consistent assessment criteria to identify and manage historic heritage. However, not all jurisdictions have adopted the agreed consistent criteria after more than a decade

Consideration is being given to nationally consistent approaches to state of the environment assessment and reporting

Management systems at all levels of government generally facilitate well-informed decisions about impact assessment and resource allocation for historic heritage; however, relatively few formal monitoring and evaluation programs are in place

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

Topics

Identification:

Processes: The Australian Government provides leadership in historic heritage assessment through the Heritage Chairs and Officials of Australia and New Zealand, which has identified a range of relevant standards and consistent assessment criteria 

Most assessments take place at the state or local level

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

Topics

Management

Processes: Management systems at all levels of government generally facilitate well-informed decisions about impact assessment and resource allocation for historic heritage; however, formal monitoring and evaluation occurs in few jurisdictions

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

Topics

Protection

Processes: Management systems for listed historic places in public ownership identify conservation needs and generally make well-informed decisions about impact assessment and resource allocation; however, formal monitoring and evaluation occurs in few jurisdictions 

For privately owned, listed historic places, the systems for assessing impact and resource allocation vary across jurisdictions but usually consider heritage value and stakeholder opinion

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

Topics

Historic heritage—outcomes

This assessment summary component has changed from 2011.

  • The 2011 assessments were grouped differently

The original 2011 summary, grade, trend and confidence levels have been replicated here to assist comparison of changes between reporting cycles.

Outcomes: Australia’s historic sites are listed and protected in an ad hoc, unrepresentative manner

Limited information is available about the effectiveness of historic heritage management, as there is only partial monitoring and evaluation of outcomes

Limited available data suggest that most historic heritage values are being retained. In some jurisdictions, the effectiveness of heritage legislation has been reduced through reliance on planning and other legislation, which affords greater priority to facilitating development

Many historic heritage places, especially those in public ownership, have management measures in place to address threats, but there is a trend by state governments to override such measures to facilitate major infrastructure and other public-sector projects

Year(s): 
2016
3
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not comparable

Topics

Identification

Outcomes: Australia’s listed historic sites are numerous, but are protected in an ad hoc manner that does not facilitate judgement of total adequacy or representativeness

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

Topics

Management

Outcomes: Limited information is available on the effectiveness of historic heritage management, as there is only partial monitoring and evaluation of outcomes

Available data suggest that heritage values are generally being retained

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

Topics

Protection

Outcomes: Many historic heritage places, especially those in public ownership, have management measures in place to address threats within the bounds of available resources. The values of listed historic heritage sites are generally being retained

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

Topics

Leadership: The Australian Heritage Strategy provides a strong vision and clear set of target outcomes for the future of Australia’s heritage. The lack of a ministerial council with responsibility for heritage is regrettable, as there is no national coordination mechanism for leadership in heritage management. The Heritage Chairs and Officials of Australia and New Zealand provides a national structure to coordinate management of historic heritage resources and share information. However, continuing resource reductions threaten both Australian Government leadership and the prospects for effective implementation of the Australian Heritage Strategy

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

Topics

Leadership: Through the Historic Heritage Chairs and Officials of Australia and New Zealand, a structure is in place to coordinate management of historic heritage resources and share information, despite the separate statutory basis and different structures in each jurisdiction. However, recent funding cuts at the national level pose a direct threat to the Australian Government’s important leadership role

Year(s): 
2011
4
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Topics

Celebration: The Australian Heritage Strategy strongly supports the celebration of Australia’s heritage. Historic heritage places are usually accessible, increasingly presented to visitors in engaging ways, and recognised as important elements in community identity and sense of place

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

Topics

Celebration: Historic heritage places are usually accessible, often cherished, increasingly presented to visitors in engaging ways, and recognised as important elements in community identity and sense of place

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

Topics

Mackay R (2016). Heritage: Effectiveness of heritage management. In: Australia state of the environment 2016, Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy, Canberra, https://soe.environment.gov.au/assessment-summary-93-effectiveness-heritage-management, DOI 10.4226/94/58b658bbe13a0