Culture and heritage

Heritage of NSW

Policy, publications and resources

Legislative authority

Heritage Act 1977 (NSW) provides for heritage management by government agencies. Section 170 of the Heritage Act outlines the special obligations of government agencies.

The Heritage Amendment Regulation 2010 prescribes the types of heritage items owned by a Government instrumentality that must be identified in its section 170 Register and prescribes the format by which they are entered into the section 170 Register.


The Heritage Act 1977 (NSW) obliges government agencies to maintain their assets with due diligence in accordance with State-Owned Heritage Management Principles approved by the Minister on the advice of the Heritage Council and notified by the Minister to government instrumentalities from time to time.Download the State Agency Heritage Guide (stateagencyheritageguide.pdf, 297KB). This document provides guidance to State agencies on managing these important heritage places and objects. It consists of:
  • State-owned Heritage Management Principles, approved by the Minister on the 16 December 2004; and
  • Heritage Asset Management Guidelines, endorsed by the Heritage Council for issue under section 170 the Heritage Act on the 1 December 2004.

Please note that the Heritage Branch is currently updating the State Agency Heritage Guide to reflect the recent changes made by the Heritage Regulation 2005.

Best practice government asset management is provided in the Total Asset Management Manual , published by the Department of Public Works and Services.

The Burra Charter outlines the philosophy of heritage conservation in Australia. The Burra Charter is available online from Australia Icomos - See "Charters & Publications". Hard copies can also be purchased from the Heritage Branch.

The NSW Heritage Manual, also available from the Heritage Branch, explains the heritage management system in NSW. It breaks down heritage management into three steps:

  1. investigate significance,
  2. assess significance and
  3. manage significance.


The Heritage Branch holds forums and seminars for State government agencies. If you are interested in attending future events, email your contact details to Heritage at

Page last updated: 01 September 2012