Amendments to the NSW Heritage Act in 1998 established the State Heritage Register and provided for the Heritage Council of NSW to develop criteria for listing on the register. These criteria were published in the NSW Government Gazette in April 1999.
Of the seven criteria, two are particularly related to historical values. One of these criteria (Criterion A) deals specifically with the importance of an item in the course or pattern of the cultural or natural history of NSW or a local area. An item may be a building, object, place, landscape or other element of the physical environment.
When using Criterion A the course or pattern of history needs to be explicitly identified and assessed. To simply claim that a course or pattern in history exists without providing supporting evidence and analysis will not be accepted by the Heritage Council.