A state-wide review into the Heritage Act 1995 has been launched to better protect Victoria’s state-significant buildings and objects.
Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne, has released a discussion paper as the first step in reviewing the 20-year- old Heritage Act.
The review into the act was an Andrews Labor Government commitment to better protect the 2300 places and objects on the Victorian Heritage Register, as well as 650 shipwrecks.
Mr Wynne said the review would identify ways to strengthen and simplify planning rules for heritage places.
“Reviewing the Heritage Act is part of the Andrews Labor Government’s dedication to cutting red tape and encouraging sustainable, vibrant communities.”
“Victoria is home to irreplaceable historic treasures and as more time passes, it becomes more important to ensure their protection and survival.”
“We’re opening up a conversation on how to best protect our heritage assets so everyone has a say into how to do it better.”
Victoria has led the country in heritage protection and the review will ensure the Act is modernised and provides clarity, particularly in areas where there is development around heritage-listed places.
Any changes around sites listed on the Victorian Heritage Register require a permit under the Heritage Act. Fee structures around permits, appeals and penalties will also be updated.
Early conversations with key stakeholders have found solid support for amending the Heritage Act to simplify the processes involved with Victoria’s historic assets.
Public consultation on the review of the Heritage Act will occur between July and August 2015.
A discussion paper on the Act and potential changes can be found here.