Natural and Cultural Heritage Theme Report
Australia State of the Environment Report 2001 (Theme Report)
Lead Author: Jane Lennon, Jane Lennon and Associates Pty Ltd, Authors
Published by CSIRO on behalf of the Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2001
ISBN 0 643 06752 3
State of government protection and funding of heritage places (continued)
While work leading to the conservation of heritage places is funded by individuals and the private sector, a large proportion of funding - probably the majority - comes from governments. Governments fund their own management and conservation of reserves and government property, as well as providing for general heritage funding (such as the Commonwealth and State/Territory grants programs and the Natural Heritage Trust) for the conservation of heritage places.
It is difficult, given the different and often non-specific reporting formats for government funding, to consistently separate the funds provided specifically for maintaining heritage values from the overall funds provided to heritage and land-management agencies. Not all agencies report separately on conservation and protection programs, and it is difficult to be certain that, for example, field staffing levels are not, in part, resources to maintain values, or that interpretation programs do not fulfil the same role. Even in the case of special grant programs, the ratio of funds expended on direct conservation works to funds expended on administrative, research or infrastructure support is difficult to determine, and generally all these activities usually lead to a conservation outcome.
The Natural Heritage Trust was the major funding initiative by the Commonwealth Government in the natural environmental field during the review period. The Natural Heritage Trust is a six-year program that commenced in 1996, utilising $1.5 billion and focusing on five key environmental themes: land, vegetation, rivers, coasts and marine, and biodiversity. It provides funding for environmental activities at a community level, a regional level, a State/Territory level, and a national level.
The program addresses a range of agricultural and natural resource management issues through 20 separate funding programs, but it is not possible to easily determine how much of the $280 million allocated through, for example, the Landcare program is actually expended in protecting or recovering assessed heritage values, as opposed to general environmental improvement. The same applies to other Natural Heritage Trust programs, such as weed and feral animal control, and land and water quality audits. The National Reserve System Program, which committed $85 million in a series of cooperative programs aimed at developing the National Reserve System, was discussed earlier in this section.
The management of World Heritage properties has involved a substantial funding commitment. Table 23 records the level of Commonwealth funding provided between 1994-95 and 1999-2000. It shows fluctuating levels, with significantly increased funding for most properties but a substantial drop in funding for the Wet Tropics of Queensland (from over $6 m to less than $4 m). This drop is magnified if the cessation of the Daintree Rescue Program (operating within the Wet Tropics) is taken into account, as funding for this program is not represented at all in the 1999-2000 budget. However, it is impossible to analyse from the available information what the 'normal' level of funding would be, so the trend cannot be assessed as positive or negative.
|303 189||185 000||415 000||712 000||593 500||812 913|
|360 000||175 000||280 000||1 319 000||1 385 000||732 000|
|Fraser Island||300 700||317 150||700 000||950 000||70 000||662 500|
|Kakadu||9 907 260||8 204 614B||7 080 080||7 229 856||13 638 539C||10 595 882C|
|Lord Howe Island||234 114||60 000||360 000||435 925||484 500||453 400|
|Shark Bay||210 000||169 000||491 630||674 480||534 350||490 250|
|Tasmanian Wilderness||5 101 000||5 177 000||5 260 000||7 350 000||7 005 000||5 770 000|
|Wet Tropics||6 195 000||4 060 000||4 689 000||5 376 000||3 446 000||3 752 500|
|Willandra Lakes||420 245||122 375||2 510 000||2 497 329||848 850||340 000|
|Uluru-Kata Tjuta||4 855 419||4 064 999B||2 119 241||1 831 210||3 572 810C||3 986 287C|
|Total||27 886 927||22 535 138||23 904 951||28 375 800||31 579 049||27 696 732|
|One-off itemsD||4 068 000||5 428 000||3 584 000||4 500 000||100 000||16 650|
A Includes funding from all Commonwealth sources (NHT, Bill 1 and Bill 2. Correct as at 30.9.2000.)
B Includes additional capital works for Cultural Centres.
C Includes additional capital works on visitor infrastructure because of Sydney Olympic Games.
D One-off funding items:
1994-95, Daintree Rescue Program (DRP) ($4 068 000)
1995-96, DRP ($4 428 000) and Willandra Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) ($1 000 000)
1996-97, DRP ($1 584 000) and Willandra SAP ($2 000 000)
1997-98, DRP ($1 500 000), Willandra SAP ($2 000 000) and Dugong conservation ($1 000 000)
1998-99, Cassowary recovery strategy ($100 000)
1999-2000, NHT mid-term strategy ($16 650).
Source: Australian and World Heritage Group, Environment Australia.
In the reporting period management plans have been finalised for all World Heritage properties, including those with private property owners at Willandra Lakes and the Wet Tropics of Queensland. A strategic planning framework was prepared for the Central Eastern Rainforests Reserve which has 57 discrete areas within the inscribed property. A management plan will need to be prepared for the recently-listed Greater Blue Mountains Area.
Commonwealth-State management arrangements for the four properties (Lord Howe Island, Shark Bay, Fraser Island, and Australian Fossil Mammal Sites) listed as under negotiation in the 1996 State of Environment report have been finalised.
While it is difficult to estimate the total annual expenditure in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (GBRWHA), some of the main per annum components include:
- Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority: $20 million (total operating budget in 1997-98 related to the Great Barrier Reef including joint funding and the Queensland contribution.
- Commonwealth Agencies: $30 million (Australian Institute of Marine Science, Australian Marine Safety Authority, Coastwatch, Australian Quarantine Inspection Service, Department of Defence, etc.).
- Other funding for GBRWHA management comes from Queensland agencies (estimated to be $14 million per year), the Reef Cooperative Research Centre and the private sector (e.g. industry).
During the reporting period there appears to have been an increase in funding from a range of sources. However, it proved to be difficult to differentiate between funding for site works and research, and for other aspects of Indigenous heritage relating to the needs of Indigenous communities. There is an increasing reluctance of Indigenous communities to become involved in some areas of research, and probably a declining amount of pure archaeological research. This reflects the fact that approval for Indigenous heritage funding has become reliant in more recent years on the approval of representative communities, and that research projects now have to be supported by a custodial group to proceed, whereas in the past consultation was not as much an issue. On the other hand, some very innovative work with communities on community-directed archaeological work has been carried out during the reporting period. The work on land rights claims and Native Title has increased, with consequent holistic research into the use and existence of heritage places. This has increased our knowledge of Indigenous heritage places in the landscape.
Attitudes towards funding for research on Indigenous cultural heritage also vary across the Indigenous organisations surveyed. In some cases, Indigenous communities feel little need for research to be undertaken in their area. In these cases the organisations tend to seek funds for conservation or educational programs that relate to cultural heritage. Where communities do encourage research of a theoretical nature, they express a strong desire to maintain control over the process, as is shown by the increasing number of Indigenous organisations that are establishing protocols for this purpose.
In other cases, communities see that an increasing knowledge of cultural heritage is crucial to their survival. Research can fulfil several purposes in these cases. It can be used in 'connection reports' for Native Title claims and other processes entered into for gaining control over land. The information gained from the research can also be used to educate the young and increase community cultural awareness. Another outcome can be the incorporation of the research findings into heritage tours or walks for tourists. In all these cases, encouraging academic involvement in research is a tool used by a community to strengthen the presentation of its identity, usually to the outside world.
Table 24 indicates the available information on funding, most of which represents Commonwealth activity. Few States responded with information on their funding programs. While this data is incomplete, it does illustrate inconsistent levels of funding through the reporting period which makes planning and skills retention difficult. A substantial increase in funding for Indigenous heritage research was provided in the year 1999-2000, following a substantial drop in the preceding three years from the 1995-96 level.
|AIATSIS (org)||National||8||127 748||2||33 704||4||59 252||1||10 933||8||140 210||23||371 847|
|AIATSIS (ind)||National||17||208 320||6||122 410||10||97 539||2||27 730||8||133 162||43||589 161|
|Australian Research Council||National||0||nd||0||nd||5||358 678||9||485 334||9||548 972||23||1 392 984|
|ATSIC (Nat)||National||nd||nd||nd||nd||nd||nd||nd||nd||1||42 898||1||42 898|
|ATSIC (Reg)||nd||nd||nd||nd||nd||nd||5||95 457||1||31 300||6||126 757|
|EA - National Estate Grants Program (nat)||National||1||25 000||4||155 200||0||nd||6||238 256||0||nd||11||418 456|
|EA - National Estate Grants Program (state)||National||20||434 850||5||111 506||0||nd||0||nd||0||nd||25||546 356|
|EA - Community Heritage Protection Program||National||0||nd||0||nd||0||nd||0||nd||5||206 942||5||206 942|
|DISR - RTGPA||National||1||35 500||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||35 500|
|Aboriginal Grants||ACT||0||nd||0||nd||0||nd||1||10 000||0||nd||1||10 000|
|Aboriginal GrantsB||NT||1||11 400||1||11 400||1||11 400||1||11 400||1||11 400
|Dhimurru||NT||0||nd||1||12 000||0||nd||1||50 000||0||nd||2||62 000|
|Queensland Coastcare||Qld||1||11 000||2||32 600||1||31 100||3||46 134||0||nd||7||120 834|
|Queensland Community History Grants||Qld||0||nd||1||10 000||1||10 200||7||76 000||5||86 000||14||182 200|
|TOTAL||49||853 818||22||488 820||22||568 169||36||1 051 244||38||1 200 884||168||4 162 935|
A $4 042 471 was spent on Indigenous tourism projects by DISR (and its predecessors) from 1992-93 to 1999-2000, but only one project appears to have had an archaeological component.
B This is an average amount per year over the five-year period.
nd No data available.
Source: Australian Heritage Commission.
In 1999-2000, only 24% of the total budget of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies was spent on their research function, compared to 41% on their archives, production and library functions. This figure for research is inflated by the inclusion of the grants program. If this is taken out, and only research carried out by Institute staff themselves is taken into account, the proportion of the total budget spent is only 16%. Table 24 also shows that the source of the largest funds was the Australian Research Grants to universities; and that the previous level of National Estate Grants Program funds has not been maintained by the replacement Community Heritage Protection Program. However, the Natural Heritage Trust allocated $6 million to the Indigenous Protected Area Program from its $1.5 billion program.
Where cultural heritage funding is sought by Indigenous organisations through the Natural Heritage Trust, it is for 'conservation protection or educative works' that relate to cultural heritage sites, rather than for more academic research. The funding is for fencing-off sites, rehabilitation of habitat, developing heritage trails or interpretative panels, or housing cultural heritage material. This means that the funding from the Natural Heritage Trust for Indigenous projects does not appear in Table 24.
During the reporting period, the Commonwealth provided over $132 million for programs which in whole or part were aimed at historic heritage place conservation (although some programs, such as the National Estate Grants Program, also included substantial natural and Indigenous heritage funding). This is outlined in Table 25.
|Program||Recipients (1996-2000) ($)|
|Federation FundA||nil||28 089 000||9 111 000||15 000 000||46 000 000|
|Cultural Heritage Projects ProgramB||942 103||1 679 610||634 385||260 000||na|
|National Estate Grants ProgramC||na||5 231 617||1 641 244||2 341 634||55 487|
|Tax Incentives for Heritage ConservationD||9 500 000||na||na||na||na|
|Heritage Properties Restoration ProgramE||na||na||na||7 100 000||na|
|Grants in Aid to National TrustF||na||3 973 000||na||na||na|
|Voluntary Cultural Heritage OrganisationsF||na||479 000||na||na||na|
|Commemoration of Historic Events Famous People||na||252 485||15 480||5 175||8 058|
|Total||$10 442 103||$39 704 712||$11 402 109||$24 706 809||$46 063 545|
A This program was a one-off budget commitment in 1998-99.
B This program commenced operation in 1999-2000, replacing the National Estate Grants Program.
C This program funded only one third historic projects.
D This program ceased in 2000.
E This program transferred from DCITA ceased in 1999-2000.
F The assistance provided under these two programs was not directly for maintaining heritage values, but rather to support community-based not-for-profit organisations in their efforts to do this.
na Not applicable.
Source: Historic Environment Section, Australian Heritage Commission.
By far the largest of these funding programs, the Centenary of Federation Fund (74% of the total expenditure) was a one-off budget allocation, and only a proportion of the funding was for direct heritage conservation because the Fund included substantial infrastructure and public presentation development funding. Much Centenary of Federation funding was for museum development, including the construction of the National Museum of Australia on Acton Peninsula in Canberra.
The new National Museum of Australia in Canberra, ACT, was created around the themes of land, people and nation.
Source: George Serras/National Museum of Australia (2001)
Naval Brigade Stores, Kangaroo Point, Brisbane, Qld.
Two stores were built in 1886-87 for the Queensland colonial navy and were taken over by the Commonwealth after Federation. One stores building burnt down and the surviving store was recently restored with Centenary of Federation funding.
Source: Mike Pearson (2000)
The National Estate Grants Program (NEGP), which had for over two decades been the primary Commonwealth heritage funding program, was wound down from its last full year of operation in 1995-96, before the replacement Cultural Heritage Projects Program commenced in 2000. The State/Territory component of the National Estate Grants Program was not replaced in the new Cultural Heritage Projects Program. In the intervening three years a substantial gap was left in funding opportunities for heritage studies and conservation. Another consequence of the loss of the National Estate Grants Program was the subsequent lack of funding for local and community projects, for thematic studies, and for studies relating to planning policy development and general assistance (e.g. heritage advisers). Government policy under the new scheme has been that funding should go to places of national importance and should be focused on 'bricks and mortar'. This approach is likely to lead to a substantial gap in the funding for local heritage places and for historic heritage research and planning.
When the amount of funding in relation to both Indigenous and historic heritage places is compared to that provided for the natural environment through the Natural Heritage Trust, it would suggest reluctance on the part of the Commonwealth to pursue a leadership role in the cultural heritage area.
Historic shipwreck funding is provided jointly by the Commonwealth and the States and Territories. Table 26 indicates the level of funding for shipwrecks.
|Commonwealth funding||State/Territory funding||Total|
|NSW||305 753||855 839||1 161 592|
|Qld||270 003||3 740 600A||4 010 603|
|WA||293 710||1 445 037||1 738 747|
|Vic.||323 971||938 000||1 261 971|
|SA||245 480||500 000||745 480|
|Tas.||246 800||208 000||454 800|
|NT||218 329||NA||218 329|
|Norfolk Island||16 200||0||16 200|
|AIMAB||66 850||NA||66 850|
|Commonwealth||51 436||NA||51 436|
|Totals||2 038 532||7 697 476||9 726 008|
A Queensland figures were inflated because of the specific Pandora Foundation funds for the new Museum of Tropical Queensland in Townsville.
B Australian Institute for Maritime Archaeology.
NA Not available.
Source: Historic Environment Section, Australian Heritage Commission.
As a category of heritage place, historic shipwrecks were well resourced in comparison with Indigenous sites over the reporting period.
The States and Territories allocate funds for historic heritage place conservation. This is outlined in Table 27.
|NSW Heritage Office|
|Grants program||2 200 000||337 000||1 710 000||3 494 000||3 544 000||11 285 000|
|Heritage grants||220 000||143 000||180 046||168 711||711 757|
|Community history grants||41 478||25 650||31 020||30 000||128 148|
|Indigenous community grants||195 785||231 215||308 076||735 076|
|Heritage TrailsB||110 000 000||110 000 000|
|SA Dept of Environment and Heritage|
|State heritage fund||243 000||365 000||552 000||497 000||582 000||2 239 000|
|SA History Trust Museums program||100 000||100 000||100 000||100 000||400 000|
|Overall funding||983 000||1 250 000||2 233 000|
|Grants||183 000||183 000|
|Heritage conservation||97 000||58 000||133 000||178 000||94 000||560 000|
|Heritage labour and costs (est.)||3 400 000||3 600 000||3 700 000||4 000 000||14 700 000|
|Assistance||384 160||384 160|
|Local government heritage studies||200 000||545 000||745 000|
|Local Government heritage advisors||177 000||240 000||417 000|
|Heritage Council WA|
|Conservation incentive||51 012||105 000||156 012|
|Heritage grants||1 000 000||950 000||858 000||2 808 000|
|Cossack Fund||56 800||94 000||150 800|
|Dalgety House||3 000||10 000||73 000||86 000|
|Totals||2 901 478||4 675 447||8 079 081||11 587 947||120 678 000||147 921 953|
A Blanks indicate the absence of information, not the absence of funding.
B A $110 million program, provided 50/50 by Commonwealth and Queensland, commencing in 2000 for three years for 32 nominated projects.
Source: Historic Environment Section, Australian Heritage Commission.
In New South Wales, a Heritage Assistance Program (HAP) and a new 'Heritage 2001' program are supported by interest on funds invested in the Heritage Conservation Fund. While this provides a constant source of funding, the level of funding is clearly dependent on interest levels which, in recent times, have been low. In 1997 an additional fund, the $30 million program, was added to the existing Heritage Assistance Program. The objective of the new program is to support the conservation of major heritage items listed on the State Heritage Register. In 1999 a new Heritage Incentive Fund was created by amendments to the Heritage Act 1977 to provide assistance in the form of the payment of land tax, duty or council rates for the owners of heritage items that are the subject of heritage agreements with the Minister. No money has yet been paid into this fund.
Newcastle NSW Convict Lumber Yard Archaeological Site of the 1814-50 convict establishment.
This site was excavated and building outlines marked with metal structures. It is an additional tourism attraction in this regional town. The Customs House is in the background.
Source: Mike Pearson (2000)
In Tasmania, the Tasmanian Historic Cultural Heritage Act 1995 provides for a heritage trust fund to be used exclusively for conservation funding. In February 2000 the fund received its first allocation of funds (amount not stated). A grants program is currently in operation.
In Victoria the establishment of a $5 million annual Public Heritage Fund in 1999 provided a substantial boost to the ability of state and local government agencies to undertake economically valuable heritage conservation works.
In Western Australia during the last five years, the operating funds and human resources of the Heritage Council have remained virtually static. Since 1994 the Western Australian Lotteries Commission has allocated approximately $1 million annually to a heritage funding program to places of community value.
In South Australia there has been no significant change in state funding other than a one-off injection of $300 000 into the State Heritage Fund and access to capital works funding for heritage properties owned by the Department of Environment and Heritage. However the loss of the state component of the National Estate Grants Program had a major impact on both state and voluntary organisations and put a greater burden on the State Heritage Fund's grants program for private citizens.
The importance of heritage advisors to local heritage conservation has been recognised by their spread across local government areas as shown in Table 30, and their role in educating private owners of heritage. The importance of incentives in changing public opinion or owner attitudes to heritage listing has not been studied for this report. It needs to be raised when looking at the condition of churches for example. The effectiveness of a heritage fund, such as that in New South Wales, or funds that can be accessed at low interest rates and added to through tax-deductible donations, should be examined for the next reporting period.
- Funding for heritage research and conservation varied across Commonwealth and State governments.
- There is as yet no adequate, effective and strategic Commonwealth funding program to address the range of important issues facing the identification and conservation of heritage places. While Indigenous places have benefited in part from the Centenary of Federation and Natural Heritage Trust funding programs during the reporting period, there is no dedicated program in the Indigenous area to match the levels of these initiatives.
- The actual funding going to historic heritage places from the various Commonwealth programs is hard to determine, as the largest program during the period, the Centenary of Federation Fund, went to a large range of projects, only some of which were related to heritage places. A noticeable trend, however, has been to fund works rather than research, when a balance of the two is required.
- The States and Territories have steadily increased their funding of historic heritage places during the review period.