Conservation of Australia's Historic Heritage Places

Productivity Commission Inquiry Report No. 37

469 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2006 Last revised: 1 Jul 2013

Date Written: April 2006


The Productivity Commission's inquiry report into the 'Conservation of Australia's Historic Heritage Places', was released on 21 July 2006. The Commission was asked to examine the policy framework and incentives for the conservation of Australia's historic built heritage places.

Some key findings from the report included: historic heritage places provide important cultural benefits to the wider community, in addition to the use and enjoyment they provide to their owners and users; Governments are the custodians of the vast majority of the most significant or 'iconic' heritage places; and for privately-owned places, the existing arrangements are often ineffective, inefficient and unfair with a system not well structured to ensure that interventions only occur where there is likely to be a net community benefit. The Commission also considers that negotiated conservation agreements should be used for obtaining extra private conservation where the existing systems would impose unreasonable costs on private owners. This should be achieved by providing owners with an additional right to appeal statutory listing which occurs during their period of ownership on the grounds of unreasonable costs.

Keywords: Australia, Conservation, Heritage, Heritage listing, Heritage properties, Private sector, Public sector

JEL Classification: Z

Suggested Citation

Commission, Productivity, Conservation of Australia's Historic Heritage Places (April 2006). Productivity Commission Inquiry Report No. 37, Available at SSRN: or

Productivity Commission (Contact Author)

Government of Australia

Level 28
35 Collins St.
Melbourne, Victoria, Victoria 3000

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