The NSW Government is inviting community discussion on how heritage can be better managed and protected in NSW.

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The NSW Government is taking the first steps to review and modernise NSW Heritage legislation with the referral of a discussion paper to a Parliamentary committee for inquiry and consultation.

This 2021 review is designed to make it easier, more affordable, and more desirable to own a State significant heritage property.

The community are encouraged to make a submission through the inquiry process to have their say on the discussion paper and proposed reforms. The discussion paper proposes initiatives to incentivise investment in heritage conservation, make day to day use of heritage items easier, and introduce a category style of listing to accommodate the different and complex needs of heritage properties.

Minister for the Arts Don Harwin said “too often we see once cherished heritage properties experience dilapidation by neglect. This Government wants to see heritage not only protected but celebrated and activated for communities.”

“We know that the best way to keep our heritage alive is to use and re-use it. This review is about ensuring heritage listing actively contributes to conservation outcomes in the long-term,” Minister Harwin said.

NSW heritage legislation has had no major system reforms since 1999 and a review is well overdue to ensure heritage is protected now and into the future.

The NSW Legislative Council Standing Committee on Social Issues will undertake a public inquiry and report back later this year, providing an opportunity for all stakeholders and members of the community to have their say.

The discussion paper and more information about the inquiry and how to get involved is available at


More information:

  • Media Release from the Hon. Don Harwin, Special Minister of State
  • Download a copy of the Heritage Review discussion paper
  • Find out about the Social Issues Standing Committee on their webpage
  • To make written inquiries to Heritage NSW, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The NSW Heritage Act 1977 was first introduced over forty years ago. The Act has not been reviewed since 2007 and there have been no major reforms since 1999.

In April this year the government asked the NSW Legislative Council’s Social Issues Standing Committee to conduct a review of the Act. The review will look at the effectiveness of the Heritage Act and the NSW heritage regulatory system, along with heritage aspects of the Environmental Protection and Assessment Act 1979.

The purpose of the review is to see how we can deliver more effective, relevant, and best-practice ways of recognising, conserving, re-using and celebrating the important heritage of NSW. The findings of the review will contribute to the evidence base for a Government White Paper and a subsequent Heritage Bill.

As a starting point for public consultation and community input, Heritage NSW has published a discussion paper . The discussion paper reflects on the current heritage system, considers some alternatives and poses some questions to assist with public consultation.

To assist with their public consultation, the discussion paper has been referred to the Social Issues Standing Committee. The Standing Committee review will provide an opportunity for key stakeholders and the broader community to have their say on government heritage policy.

In the near future the Social Issues Standing Committee will make announcements about their process for the Heritage Act review. The Committee will call for submissions from the public on the review and we encourage all stakeholders and interested members of the community to take the opportunity to have your say.

Heritage NSW