Heritage Policies

Australia ICOMOS Interim Heritage Policy – Federal Election 2016

Australia ICOMOS is committed to providing leadership in the conservation of Australia’s cultural heritage by developing and implementing standards, especially in research, education and training, and by influencing decision-makers. Through consultation with our members Australia ICOMOS has arrived at an interim list of key heritage issues.

Through enacting these key issues, a Federal Government would not only improve the sustainability of our cultural heritage for present and future generations, but also ensure that Australia continues to take a leading role in heritage conservation in the Asia-Pacific region.

1.   Reinstating of the National Cultural Heritage Forum and/or the ‘Friends of Heritage’ forum for ‘not for profit’ heritage bodies to meet with Heritage Chairs and Officials from all levels of Government and to provide input to implementation of an Australian Heritage Strategy.

2.   Preparation of an Australian Heritage Quality Framework – leading to improved monitoring, quality and training across all types and levels of cultural heritage (including traditional trades).

3.   Continuation of funding for Trove and other valuable research institutions and resources, and promotion of their potential for research and for heritage interpretation.

4.   Development of innovative funding, incentives, resource sharing and creative partnerships for all levels and types of cultural heritage (including serious consideration of a National Heritage Lottery).

5.   Commissioning of theme-based cultural heritage studies to identify gaps in the National Heritage List (and assist with the identification of cultural places for Australia’s World Heritage tentative list).

6.   Recognition of the contribution of heritage to sustainable communities.

7.   Particular recognition and support for Indigenous cultural heritage.

8.   Cooperation with and encouragement of the heritage sector at all levels and across both government and community heritage bodies.

9.   Improvement of public access to heritage information through new technologies and social media.

10. Encouragement of partnerships and positive relationships with our neighbours in the Asia-Pacific region.

11. Ensuring heritage legislation and conventions are modern, transparent, robust and proactive.

12. Promotion of practical training in heritage conservation and management skills.

13. Leading by best practice in the conservation of Commonwealth-owned cultural heritage places.

14. Amending and modernisation of the 40-year-old Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976, broadening its protection to other classes of underwater cultural heritage places and linking it more effectively into planning processes.

15. Ensuring that amendments enable Australia’s ratification of the UNESCO 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage, in line with the 2009 Review of the Historic Shipwrecks Act and 2010 Australian Underwater Cultural Heritage Intergovernmental Agreement.

16. Promotion of school and tertiary education in heritage identification, appreciation and management.

17. Hosting or co-hosting of an International Heritage Conference in the Australia-Pacific region.

18. Establishment of a National Cultural Heritage Landscape Convention (similar to that of European Landscape Convention).

19. Supporting research into and improved management of intangible cultural heritage.

20. Streamlining of legislative practice, but not at the expense of heritage best practice and transparency in decision making.

21. Ensuring there are mechanisms in place for the management of abandoned mine sites, implementing the aims of the Strategic Framework for Managing Abandoned Mines in the Mineral Industry (2010).

22. Ensuring that the concept of urban heritage conservation is integrated with social and economic development and given due consideration – the approach inherent in the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) concept.

23. Auditing the defunct Register of the National Estate database and identifying any orphan places – ie. significant sites now unlisted, unmanaged or unprotected.

24. Funding a coordinated web-based national heritage inventory to assist in comparative analysis across all heritage management levels and site types.