Posted on September 13, 2012 by Megan Hawley

The new Heritage Regulation 2012

On 1 September 2012 the Heritage Regulation 2005 was repealed and immediately replaced by the Heritage Regulation 2012.

The new Regulation is not a root and branch review of the old.  The prescribed fees for applications and excavation permits remain the same, as do the substantive provisions for weather protection, fire protection and security for a building, work or relic.

The provisions regarding maintenance and repair of buildings, works and relics are also similar.

However, new provisions are included in the Regulation dealing with maintenance and repair of ruins and moveable objects, and inspections by owners of items.

Division 2 establishes a procedure for the making of minimum standards for the maintenance and repair of specific ruins and moveable objects listed on the Register. The minimum standards can be included as part of the listing. The procedure for listing standards involves seeking public submissions on the proposed standards.

In making its decision regarding what standards are to apply to the maintenance of a ruin or moveable object, the Heritage Council must consider whether the standard of maintenance would “render the item incapable of reasonable economic use” or cause “undue financial hardship to the owner, mortgagee or lessee of the item or land on which the item is situated” (Clause 17(6) (a) and (b)).

There is also a new inspection regime under Division 3 (Clauses 19 and 20) which requires the owner of a building, work, relic, ruin or moveable object to arrange for inspections at specified time intervals, to determine whether maintenance or repairs are required. The time intervals are fixed in respect of certain maintenance issues for buildings, works and relics, but depend on the terms of the listing for ruins and moveable objects. Reports on inspections may be required by the Heritage Council.

The new clause 21 provides that if the Minister seeks a review of a proposed listing of an item by the Planning Assessment Commission, then the PAC’s review and report must be provided within 3 months.

The new Regulation is of most importance to owners of items, given the inspection obligations it imposes.