Nominate an item for listing on the State Heritage Register

This information outlines how to nominate an item to be considered for listing on the State Heritage Register.

The State Heritage Register lists items that are significant for NSW and protected under the Heritage Act 1977. An item may be a place, building, work, relic, moveable object or precinct. 

Criteria for State heritage significance

The Heritage Council of NSW has developed criteria to help establish if something is of State significance. To be considered for listing, the item must meet at least 2 of the 7 criteria:

  1. an item is important in the course, or pattern, of NSW’s cultural or natural history
  2. an item has strong or special association with the life or works of a person, or group of persons, of importance in NSW’s cultural or natural history
  3. an item is important in demonstrating aesthetic characteristics and/or a high degree of creative or technical achievement in NSW
  4. an item has strong or special association with a particular community or cultural group in NSW for social, cultural or spiritual reasons
  5. an item has potential to yield information that will contribute to an understanding of NSW’s cultural or natural history
  6. an item possesses uncommon, rare or endangered aspects of NSW’s cultural or natural history

     

  7. an item is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a class of NSW’s cultural or natural places, or cultural or natural environments.

If the item only meets one criteria, the Heritage Council must consider it to be of such particular significance that it should be listed.

How to nominate an item

Anyone can nominate an item for consideration if it meets the criteria for State heritage significance.

Most places or objects will not meet the criteria for State heritage significance. If the item is significant for the local government area or community, contact the relevant local council about the possibility of a local heritage listing.

Before preparing a nomination, we recommend you:

  • read the nomination guidelines
  • research the item
  • determine if and why it is significant for NSW.

After reading the guidelines and doing some research, if the item appears to meet at least 2 criteria for State heritage significance, complete the State Heritage Register Nomination Form (DOCX 80KB).

Contact us if you have questions about the completing form or the criteria for State heritage significance.

What happens after a nomination is made

The nomination is checked for eligibility and if there is enough information provided for the Heritage Council to consider the nomination.

The Heritage Council considers new nominations each month to determine which ones should progress to a full assessment.

To make this decision, they consider if the nomination:

  • may be of State heritage significance
  • aligns with current Heritage Council priorities, which are:
    • Aboriginal heritage, including frontier conflict sites
    • LGBTIQA+ heritage
  • is at risk or under threat
  • presents a strategic or important opportunity for listing
  • has been nominated by or is supported by the property owner.

Nominators will be advised within 2 days of the Heritage Council’s decision on whether the nomination will progress to an assessment for potential listing.

The assessment process involves:

  • consultation with owners and other key stakeholders to identify an appropriate curtilage (boundary) to be listed and develop site-specific exemptions from works approvals
  • consultation with other key stakeholders such as the local council
  • historical research
  • significance assessment
  • site visits
  • further consideration by the Heritage Council
  • a public exhibition period to seek submissions

There is no statutory timeframe to start an assessment and it can depend on how many nominations are under assessment at any one time.

The time needed to complete the assessment will vary and depends on several factors such as the number of stakeholders involved in consultation, and the complexity of the nomination.

We will discuss timeframes and milestones with the nominator and property owner during the assessment process.

At the completion of the assessment, the Heritage Council may recommend the item to the Minister for Environment and Heritage for listing on the State Heritage Register.

The Minister for Environment and Heritage decides whether to direct the listing of an item on the State Heritage Register and will consider the following when making this decision:

  • the Heritage Council’s recommendation
  • whether the long-term conservation of the item is necessary
  • whether listing would render the item incapable of reasonable or economic use
  • whether the listing would cause undue financial hardship to the owner, mortgagee or lessee of the item or the land on which the item is situated.

The listing takes effect upon the publishing of an order in the NSW Government Gazette.

See Recent Minister decisions on State Heritage Register nominations.