Australian Heritage Commission Annual Report 1999-2000
- 7.1 Principal planned outcome
- 7.2 Strategies to implement planned outcome
- 7.3 Output — National Heritage Places Strategy
- 7.4 Output — International obligations
- 7.5 Output — National Leadership Program
- 7.6 Output — Australian heritage databases and Internet site
The Commonwealth and the States have agreed to a new set of arrangements relating to roles and responsibilities for heritage and environment (the 1997 Council of Australian Governments heads of agreement). These new arrangements are designed to foster improved heritage conservation and awareness, reduce duplication in government processes, and eliminate gaps in legal protection. New legislation is planned to reflect the arrangements, the outcomes of the National Heritage Places Strategy, and changed administrative arrangements.
Improved protection of all heritage places at the national, State and local level through the implementation of the National Heritage Places Strategy, the national standards and an inclusive national heritage database.
Strategies to implement the outcomes arising from key elements of the National Heritage Places Strategy (including preparation and development of that strategy and new heritage legislation that will ultimately shape the Commission’s future role) are as follows.
- Provide substantive input into the National Heritage Places Strategy and new Commonwealth heritage places legislation. Further develop assessment processes for places of national significance and agreed national standards consistent with the outcomes of the 1998 National Heritage Convention.
- Provide substantive input to complementary Commonwealth and State legislation and encourage the inclusion of heritage issues in related Commonwealth Government environmental policies.
- Develop and improve national databases, including a national database of statutory and non-statutory registers and lists of heritage places.
- Provide national leadership in heritage policy development and implementation.
- Strive for appropriate funding of projects relating to the identification, protection, management and promotion of heritage places.
- Undertake international activities consistent with Australia’s national heritage objectives.
Continued development of the Future Directions process for input to a comprehensive National Heritage Places Strategy. In doing so, the Commission will prepare and refine four drafts of national standards, a paper on new heritage legislation and review and comment on three drafts of the National Heritage Places Strategy.
The Commission worked towards the development of a framework for implementing the National List drawing on national and international best practice in heritage assessment and protection regimes. The framework was tested through four workshops involving internal and external experts.
A regional heritage tourism proposal was developed by the Commission to address the recommendation of the Regional Australia summit that ‘a regional heritage tourism strategy be implemented as a model for promoting regional business development’. The proposal’s outcomes would include creation of new jobs and businesses in regional Australia and at the same time restoration and promotion of natural and cultural heritage assets.
Throughout the year the Commission has undertaken preliminary development of possible national themes, assessment criteria and research approaches for the proposed National List of heritage places.
The Commission provided input and advice on the development of policy parameters for the new heritage regime and on implementing the policy by drafting new heritage legislation.
The Commission made a significant contribution toward redrafting the National Heritage Places Strategy which became the National Heritage Places Strategy: An Agreement Between the Commonwealth, States and Territories in Relation to Heritage Responsibilities 27 August 1999. The Commission provided background briefs and secretariat support to three high-level Commonwealth–State working groups.
By November 1999, agreement on some critical elements of the strategy could not be reached between the States and the Commonwealth and it was not possible to achieve a national strategy that both the States and Commonwealth could endorse.
The Minister for the Environment and Heritage proceeded with the development of a new heritage regime based on original policy parameters, largely dependent on COAG agreements. The Commission was involved in the development of a new Commonwealth heritage regime specifying the Commonwealth’s responsibility for heritage. This included the development of a ‘preferred position’ paper for the Australian Heritage Commissioner about dealing with ways to move the strategy forward.
In conjunction with the Department of the Environment and Heritage, the Commission participated in 25 explanatory briefings on the new heritage regime. These briefings were held in major capital cities for the public, non-government organisations, Indigenous representatives and government representatives. Consultations with stakeholders, including Indigenous communities and land councils in northern Australia will continue during the 2000–2001 financial year.
The Memorandum of Understanding between China, the Australian Heritage Commission and Environment Australia will be progressed to the satisfaction of the Commission. This will be achieved through the convening of two meetings of the parties and the development and publication of the memorandum.
During the year the Commission continued its collaborative work with the Getty Conservation Institute and the Chinese State Administration for Cultural Heritage on the development of cultural heritage principles for China. This involved meetings in China and the United States.
Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding in Beijing.
Following the meeting in China, a Memorandum of Understanding on cultural heritage cooperation between the State Administration for Cultural Heritage, the Australian Heritage Commission and the Department of the Environment and Heritage was signed in Beijing on 26 November 1999 by the Commission Chairman and the Director, State Administration for Cultural Heritage. The Secretary of the Department of the Environment and Heritage signed the memorandum in Sydney on
11 February 2000.
Following the signing, there were preliminary discussions in the United States on joint projects to be pursued under the memorandum. It was agreed that technology transfer and exchange of expertise were priority areas. Project development is now underway.
The Commission continued its advice to and promotion of AusHeritage — Australia’s network of cultural heritage practitioners and organisations — which is carrying out partnership projects in Asia and strengthening the industry’s experience and expertise.
- six heritage meetings;
- one National Indigenous Cultural Heritage Officers’ meeting and publication;
- four advice briefs and two implementation trials for the Committee of Review of Commonwealth-Owned Heritage Properties; and
- the majority of available online heritage databases linked to the inventory and two State heritage databases connected to the inventory.
The National Leadership Program is to be carried out to a high level of satisfaction of the Minister and the Commission, with:
- the major heritage property-holding agencies briefed on the National Leadership Program;
- three ‘best practice’ promotions;
- four refinements or developments of best practice standards and guidelines;
- eight facilitation's of heritage policy into State government, industry and community sectors;
|Major heritage property-holding agencies briefed on the National Leadership Program||Yes||100%||Ongoing consultation and liaison with the Dept. of Defence and Dept. of Finance and Administration|
|Three best practice programs||5||166%||Draft Heritage Tourism Guidelines; Protecting Local Heritage Places (reprint); Australian Natural Heritage Charter - Presenters' Kit; One-day Economics and Heritage Workshop; and Cultural Heritage Management: Historic Heritage on Parts and Protected Areas - Best Practice|
|Four refinements or developments of best practice standards and guidelines||5||120%||Draft Heritage Tourism Guidelines; Protecting Local Heritage Places Information and Resources Kit; input into the revised Burra Charter; development of economic modelling for the National Heritage Places Strategy and quantifying economic benefits associated with heritage listing|
|Eight facilitation's of heritage policy into State government, industry and community sectors||8||100%||Seven Australian Natural Heritage Charter workshops; one Defence Environmental Officers' workshop|
|Six heritage meetings||6||100%||Australian Alps Liaison Committee - Cultural Heritage Working Group|
|One National Indigenous Cultural Heritage Officers' meeting and publication||Two meetings, one report||150%||Meetings held at Stradbroke Island and Canberra|
|Four advice briefs and two implementation trials for the Committee of Review of Commonwealth-Owned Heritage Properties||Five briefs, two implementation trials||115%||Briefs: Green Hill Fort; Townsville Customs House; Newcastle Customs House; Bruny Island Quarantine Station and the Old ANARE Station - Heard Island
Implementation trials: Defence Housing Authority; Update of CR-COHP Heritage asset management manuals
|The majority of available online heritage databases linked to inventory and two databases connected to the Australian Heritage Places Inventory||All States linked and two databases connected||100%||All State heritage inventories of statutory listed places have been incorporated into the Australian Heritage Places Inventory (AHPI); NSW and Queensland heritage databases linked to AHPI|
The old ANARE Station, Heard Island.
This long-term program provides a more effective approach to historic heritage place administration in Australia and is conducted under the guidance of Commonwealth, State and Territory heritage agencies. Heritage officials met in Brisbane in March 2000 and dealt with a new national work plan, developments on the National Heritage Places Strategy and adoption of the Australian Historic Themes Framework. Work progressed on the Australian Heritage Places Inventory and the Australian Heritage web site. During the year joint assessment projects were completed with Heritage Victoria and commenced with Heritage South Australia.
In November 1999 and March 2000 the Commission signed accreditation agreements with:
- Heritage South Australia and the State Heritage Authority; and
- the Queensland Heritage Council and the Queensland Environmental Protection Agency.
These agreements complement those the Commission has with Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory. Accreditation agreements allow the Commission to acknowledge that the State or Territory’s identification, assessment and listing processes meet the requirements for recognising historic national estate values, therefore reducing the duplication of heritage listing between Commonwealth and State governments. The development of these agreements also contributed to the work being undertaken on national heritage standards.
During 1999–2000, regular liaison meetings were held between the Australian Heritage Commission and the Heritage Unit, Environment ACT. These meetings were in line with:
- the Memorandum of Understanding between the Commonwealth and the Australian Capital Territory; and
- the Accreditation Agreement between the Australian Heritage Commission and the Heritage Unit, Environment ACT.
(Both the Memorandum of Understanding and the Accreditation Agreement were signed in 1998.) Assessment programs, advice issues and possible National List issues were discussed and coordinated. The Accreditation Agreement is due for review in the second half of 2000.
The Australian Historic Themes Framework and guide were finalised for publication in 1999–2000. The framework provides comprehensive coverage of historical processes, applicable at all levels of interest and significance. The framework is being widely used by the Commission in its identification and assessment work.
No meetings of the National Cultural Heritage Forum were held in 1999–2000, however preparations are under way for a meeting in the first half of the 2000–2001 financial year.
- Databases are to be maintained to a fully effective level of operational efficiency.
- Information on the Internet site must be maintained at 95 per cent accuracy.
- Six heritage database and six Internet data upgrades will be undertaken in the 1999–2000 financial year.
The Commission’s databases continued to be fully effective and operational during the 1999–2000 financial year.
Two complete data upgrades were performed for the Australian Heritage Places Inventory. The web site for the inventory was redesigned and made available to the public. State-based information on this site was upgraded on a monthly basis.
Two major structural upgrades of the Commission’s web site were undertaken. Data available on the web site was upgraded as required on a weekly, and occasionally daily, basis.