Review shows Canberrans back new and improved heritage system

Australian Greens

The ACT Government has today released the ACT Heritage Jurisdictional Review Consultation Report and the Government Response to the Inquiry on ACT Heritage Arrangements that set the foundation for stronger heritage arrangements in the ACT.

Minister for Heritage Rebecca Vassarotti said the extensive review and reform of the ACT’s heritage arrangements is addressing systemic challenges and restoring the community’s faith in how we value and protect our historical sites.

“As the nation’s capital, in the heart of Ngunnawal Country, Canberrans have always had a keen sense of identity that is intrinsically tied to our heritage,” Minister Vassarotti said.

“Canberrans need and deserve a robust, high functioning and first-rate heritage system that celebrates and protects our shared history.

“Following release of the independently conducted ACT Heritage Jurisdictional Review in July 2023, the ACT Government conducted extensive public consultation on the changes required to deliver a modern and fit for purpose system for the ACT.

“Community feedback has shown the direction of our reforms are on track, with strong support for Traditional Custodians to determine their own cultural heritage and to strengthen the governance and administrative heritage arrangements.

“The government is now actively working with the ACT Heritage Council to plan the approach, resources required and priorities to implement key recommendations.

“In tandem with the Jurisdictional Review, the Standing Committee on the Environment, Climate Change and Biodiversity also inquired into the ACT’s heritage arrangements, releasing a final report in October last year. The Committee’s inquiry, which reported in October 2023, is an important and valuable addition to the government’s review to help identify opportunities to strengthen and improve heritage arrangements in the Territory.

“The government’s response to the Inquiry notes that the recommendations are strongly aligned with the reforms identified in the Jurisdictional Review, in particular the need for a more cohesive governance and policy framework, improved roles and responsibilities, and more support for Aboriginal organisations.

“I welcome the thoughtful and considered advice received through both review processes and thank the ACT Government heritage staff and ACT Heritage Council for progressing their important work throughout.

“Having community feedback is essential to building a heritage system that Canberrans can be proud of.

“I know Canberrans are eager to see reforms to the heritage system, and I look forward to providing you with more updates as we progress these important reforms that the ACT deserves.”

/Public Release. View in full here.