Manage heritage items

Information to assist private property owners, local councils, state agencies and heritage industry professionals.

For all property owners

Owners have an obligation to ensure heritage listed properties are maintained to minimum standards, including all buildings being weatherproof and secure against vandalism.

The information on this page assists owners with how to care for their properties and find suitably qualified people to also carry out work:

For private properties listed on the State heritage register

Search for details about the listing in the State Heritage Inventory

Before making any alterations or excavating, check if the proposed work meets criteria for an exemption otherwise apply for an approval or permit

Apply for a NSW heritage grant for eligible activities.

For private properties with a local heritage listing

Search for details about the listing in the State Heritage Inventory.

Before making any alterations or excavating, contact the local council. 

Ask the local council if they offer grants for locally listed heritage items or other support.

For local councils as property owners and managers  

Local councils own and manage many locally significant heritage items.

Apply for a NSW heritage grant for eligible activities. 

Send an email request to join a network of heritage advisors and professionals as a forum for information exchange. 

For NSW state agencies as property owners and managers 

NSW state agencies manage a large portfolio of heritage properties (also referred to as heritage ‘assets’) and have responsibilities under Section 170 of the Heritage Act to:

  • keep a heritage and conversation register that lists significant heritage assets owned and/or cared for, and
  • conserve and manage those assets. 

Refer to the State Agency Heritage Guide for how to meet those responsibilities. 

Send an email request to join a network of heritage advisors and professionals as a forum for information exchange. 

Contact us

Search for details about the heritage listings in the State Heritage Inventory.

Prepare the Heritage and Conservation Register online through the Heritage Management System. This will enable the information to be made publicly available in the State heritage inventory. 

Under section 57(2) of the Heritage Act, agencies are permitted to undertake works that support the day to day practical management of a heritage asset, as long as the work does not impact heritage significance of the item. 

Refer to the standard exemptions page for more information.

State agencies can apply to the Heritage Council of NSW to receive:

  • delegated functions under the Heritage Act 1977 such as approval of some works
  • an order for agency specific exemptions under s.57(2) of the Act from seeking an approval for specific low risk/impact activities
  • an order for agency specific exceptions under s.139 of the Act from seeking an excavation permit for specific low risk or low impact activities.

Delegating approval functions from the Heritage Council empowers State agencies to be more efficient in managing their heritage assets, administration costs and timeframes. 

Specific delegations may be granted to agencies that have the appropriate in-house heritage expertise, procedures and resources to exercise the delegations. The delegation is for making decisions about work that would not ‘materially affect’ the state heritage significance. Refer to the Material Threshold policy for more information.