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Why Heritage Listings Are Important for Preserving History

National heritage listings are given to places in Australia which have environmental, historical, and social value. By naming a site a heritage listing, state and national governments can ensure that the locations are taken care of and protected for future generations to enjoy and learn from. These listings make our history tangible; they help us remember where we come from, and they are a source of pride. For the sake of our society at large, it’s important to know why heritage listings are essential for preserving history – and there are so many reasons to keep these areas pristine, in their original condition.

What Is a Heritage Listing?

Heritage listings are sites which the government–local or national–are committed to protecting. They write legislation to ensure that these sites are not infringed upon, built on, or changed from their original condition. There are many different types of heritage listings which provide different levels of protection.

Types of heritage listings:

World Heritage Listings – also known as UNESCO World Heritage Listings, these sites are deemed to have global significance. Places such as the Naracoorte Caves National Park in South Australia are World Heritage Listings because of their extensive fossil records.

National Heritage Listings – these listings are important to Australians. They must meet certain criteria. Sites such as Adelaide Park Lands and South Australia’s Old and New Parliament Houses are considered National Heritage Listings under the Australian Government’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999)

Commonwealth Heritage Listings – also falling under the Australian Government’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act are listings which comprise of historic heritage, natural, and Indigenous sites. These listings are leased or owned by the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth Authority. There are nine eligibility criteria these sites must meet to be considered Commonwealth Heritage Listings.

State Heritage Listings – this is a listing which contributes to the local history. They are social, technological, architectural, or scientific places. This listing extends to the interior, exterior, fences, and outbuildings of a site.

Local Heritage Listings – these sites are important to the local area and also have to meet criteria set out by the local council.

Why Heritage Listings Are Important

The implications of recognising a site as a Heritage Listing are centred around protecting a place that is seen as historic or culturally significant. This protection extends to important environmental habitats and ecosystems such as the Fitzgerald River National Park. Listing these sites offers legal protection to ensure that they are managed through informed decisions, and resources are allocated towards their preservation. This way, we can celebrate them and preserve them for future generations to learn from and enjoy, enabling us to better understand the values of our ancestors and honour our history.

If you plan to buy a property to develop or renovate, you want to find out whether it is a Heritage Listing. With Archistar property development software, you can quickly find out if a property is listed as such through its extensive database, which is updated weekly.

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