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Heritage identification and protection



Queensland Heritage Act 1992

Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003

Torres Strait Islander Act 2003

Heritage Council

The Queensland Heritage Council comprises experts and nominees from various organisations who are appointed by the Minister. The Council assesses entries for and administers the Heritage Register and advises the Minister on matters relating to the state’s cultural heritage. The Council is assisted by the Heritage Branch.


The Queensland Heritage Council is the state’s peak body on heritage matters. It works to identify and protect places that have special cultural value to the community and future generations.


The council was established by the Queensland Heritage Act 1992 which requires the council to act independently, impartially and in the public interest. See What we do. The council receives professional advice and administrative support from the Department of Environment and Resource Management’s Heritage Branch.


The Queensland Heritage Register protects the past and the present for the future. It ensures our cultural heritage is protected for the enjoyment of future generations. Established under the Queensland Heritage Act 1992, the Queensland Heritage Register is a list of places, trees, natural formations, and buildings of cultural heritage significance.


Each entry in the Register includes information about the place’s history, its physical fabric, statements of its significance, and location details.


Cultural heritage places can also be listed in other registers. These include the National Heritage List, the Commonwealth Heritage List, the Register of the National Estate, a list maintained by the National Trust, and lists compiled by local governments (e.g. the Brisbane City Council).


Over1600 places are entered in the Queensland Heritage Register which is a statutory list of places that are protected by the Queensland Heritage Act 1992. The Act has different provisions for these categories of places:

What is included on the Register

The Queensland Heritage Register lists places of aesthetic, architectural, historical, scientific or social significance or other special value, to the present community and future generations. Place can include buildings, groups of buildings, gardens, trees and natural features of historic significance.


You can search for places on the Queensland Heritage Register.

Criteria for inclusion on the register

Visit Getting on the Register to read the entry criteria, obtain a nomination form, the registration procedure and owners rights.


The Heritage Branch of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (part of the Department of Environment and Resource Management) supports the Heritage Council by assessing nominations to the QHR, and assessing development applications for places entered in the Queensland Heritage Register. The Queensland Heritage Act also has provisions for protection of cultural relics.

Government heritage grant programs

In 2006 the Queensland Government initiated a $5 Million Living Buildings and Places heritage grants program aimed to support the conservation and continued use of our key heritage places. The Queensland Heritage Register contains more than 1,600 places of state heritage significance, and there are many more important local heritage places that have been recognised by local governments.


Queensland’s cultural heritage places help define our communities and remind us of times and events that have shaped the way we see ourselves. They contribute to a sense of place, and reinforce our identity - they help define what it means to be a Queenslander.


However, cultural heritage is not about being stuck in the past. Heritage buildings are best protected when they continue to be used, and when their stories are told and appreciated by the communities whose history they reflect.


Places that are eligible for assistance under the program include those entered in the Queensland Heritage Register; local heritage places covered by an approved planning scheme; rural heritage places; and National Trust historic properties.


For more information on grants write to the Cultural Heritage Branch, Grants Project Manager, Department of Environment and Resource Management, PO Box 15155, City East Qld 4002 or ring 07 3227 6834 or email


Indigenous cultural heritage web page has a link to records of significant sites are kept in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Heritage Register and database. These records of significant sites are kept in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Heritage Database and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Heritage Register, which are administered by the Cultural Heritage Coordination Unit.


The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Heritage database and register hold (where appropriate):


The Cultural Heritage Grants Program provides limited financial assistance of up to $15,000 towards projects which aim to preserve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage sites and areas in Queensland.


Web page(s) and government agency addresses

Heritage organisations in Queensland lists state government heritage agencies, database, legislation and non-statutory heritage sites with links to them. Visit the home page for the Cultural Heritage Branch. For more information write to the Cultural Heritage Branch, Environmental Protection Agency, of Environment and Resource Management, GPO Box 2454, Brisbane QLD 4001 or ring (07) 3330 5859.


Other statutory listings

The Integrated Planning Act 1997 (IPA) was replaced by the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (SPA), under this Act local governments are required to identify valuable features and acknowledge in planning schemes. Local government registers are becoming more common. Some local governments employ heritage advisors who can provide free advice to locals and some local governments have heritage/history grants programs. Check with your local authority for what assistance they can provide and if they have any relevant publications.


Non-statutory registers

The National Trust of Queensland, through its properties, advocacy and research encourages the community to understand and care for our significant places, wildlife, and stories. Its register includes buildings, precincts, landscapes, natural sites and a tree register. While the Trust does not offer grants, their Grants web page has some very useful suggestions. The Trust’s address is 95 William Street, Brisbane Qld 4000, phone number (07) 3223 6666 and e-mail address is  

Other agencies and grants

The Queensland Gambling Community Benefit Fund provides grants to community based organisations to help them provide services and activities within their local communities.


Each casino in Queensland also has a community benefit fund. Applicants must show a high level of community involvement. Grants are generally for facilities or services and the proposal must have an obvious community benefit. Thinking laterally the application could argue that by identifying and researching places of heritage value you would assist the locality’s cultural tourism which is an obvious community benefit.

Web pages for information about the casino benefit in your area are:


For information or queries about grants from the Gambling Community Benefit Fund, Jupiters Casino Community Benefit Fund, Breakwater Island Casino Community Benefit Fund, Reef Hotel Casino Community Benefit Fund or Golden Casket Foundation write to Locked Bag 180, City East Qld 4002, phone (07) 3247 4284, Freecall 1800 633 619 (outside Brisbane) or email


Do remember to check what grants your local government might offer.


The Brisbane City Council offers two history and heritage based grant programs. The Community Grants under the History and Heritage theme is open to local not for profit community groups to increase the community’s access to, and appreciation for, Brisbane’s history and heritage. The Lord Mayor’s Helen Taylor Award for Local History is open to individual researchers undertaking new research that furthers the understanding of Brisbane’s history. The Community Facility grants are for facility based projects to improve the quality of the facility and can be used to buy equipment like computers and printers.


Art Deco in the Tropics: Innisfail reveals that Innisfail CBD area has Australia’s largest concentration of art deco buildings. The web pages have some interesting photos and good links.