Heritage in Queensland
Queensland’s diverse heritage contributes to our sense of place, reinforces our identity and helps define what it means to be a Queenslander. Our heritage places have been shaped by Queensland’s history, environment, resources and people. They comprise places of cultural and natural significance that we want to keep, respect and pass on to future generations.
Heritage places in Queensland are assessed and managed at four different levels:
- International: World Heritage Areas are natural and cultural places of ‘outstanding universal value’ selected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
- National: The National Heritage List comprises natural and cultural places with outstanding heritage value to the nation. The National Heritage List is administered by the Australian Government under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservations Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The Commonwealth Heritage List, also kept under the EPBC Act, is a list of natural, Indigenous and historic heritage places owned by the Australian Government. It includes places connected to defence, communications, customs and other government activities.
- State: Non-indigenous places of cultural heritage significance to Queensland are protected by the Queensland Heritage Act 1992 and are entered in the Queensland Heritage Register. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage is protected under separate legislation.
- Local: Places of local heritage significance may be listed by local government in a local heritage register under the Queensland Heritage Act 1992 or identified and protected in a local government planning scheme.
The department is responsible for the management of heritage places by identifying and protecting them. Heritage places include buildings, structures, cemeteries, archaeological sites, gardens, urban precincts and natural and landscape features.
Effective heritage conservation does not require that historic places remain frozen in time and never altered. The best way to protect heritage places is to ensure they remain in active use and are valued by the community.
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