Guiding Principles

​The Basis for Decisions

The Heritage Council has the important role of protecting the heritage significance of places entered on the Heritage Register.

When making decisions on works to a heritage-listed place, the main consideration is to retain the significance of the place. The Heritage Council uses these Works Guidelines and the underlying principles of the Burra Charter [link] to make its decision.

The Heritage Council's decisions must also be consistent with the objectives of the State's resources management and planning system, including promoting sustainable development and encouraging public involvement; the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993; and relevant provisions of the Building Act 2000.

It is important to remember that there is no legislative requirement to upgrade a building to current building codes and standards. When considering carrying out works to a heritage place, the Building Act 2000 makes provisoin for the Building Code of Australia to be varies, and provides an application process for modifying the Code.

Guiding Principles

Whilst every heritage place has its own distinctive characteristics and no two proposals for works will be the same, there are a number of good-practice principles that will lead to sympathetic solutions in most situations. 

1. Understand why the place is significant

Understand what makes a place significant before making any changes to the place. This can be done through historical research and examining the details of the place itself. Use this information to think about what components or spaces are the most significant, interesting and meaningful.

2. Changes to a place should be sympathetic to its significance

Any changes to a place should be sympathetic to its significance. Avoid changes that will compromise and erode the place's significance; that will obscure significant features; or that will confuse understanding of the nature and evolution of the place.

3. Heritage places evolve

Heritage places evolve over time, and changes can be made where it does not impact on the place's significance, or where it is necessary. Change that provides for the ongoing relevance, use and upkeep of a place can help with its conservation. If changes which will comprise the heritage significance of a place can't be avoided, the changes should be carried out in a manner that is reversible.

4. Protect significant settings and views

For many heritage places, it is important to protect its visual setting and any relationships to other significant elements. Demolition, alterations, new structures, landscaping or other changes that remove, screen or impact on a place's significance should be avoided.

5. Provide for a place's upkeep

Maintaining a heritage place is essential to conserving its significance.  In many cases maintaining and conserving a place can only occur by ensuring that it has a relevant use.  This may require some degree of adaptation.

MONA (originally Moorilla Estate entries #7088 #7089)
copyright: Tourism Tasmania & Rob Burnett​


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