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Good vs Bad Heritage Systems
Overview
*Many other First World Countries have adopted Heritage Acts or other laws which ensure that private property owner's are not placed into financial difficulty with heritage listing. Their laws work on a 'win-win' basis - thus helping to ensure that their heritage listed properties are properly looked after. They often provide adequate financial assistance and good tax incentives, and so their general public try to nominate their own properties for heritage listing! For example the state of Colorado, USA during the 2015 financial year alone provided a little over US $273 million dollars to 2,243 different historical heritage projects across Colorado - this equates to an average of US $121,711 per heritage property! Colorado also provide Federal and State tax provisions to historic heritage listed properties so they have people trying to get their properties on their National Register of Historic Places. In addition, they are allowed to maintain, manage or dispose of their property as they choose (so long as there is no Federal involvement) but with benefits like those, who would want to get their property off the National Register of Historic Places? The Colorado Government works positively with property owners, and in doing so they readily and more easily acheive the outcome they desire
Please scroll down for more information on what a good, working heritage system looks like!

*Compare this to Australia whose Heritage Act 1995 is full of Protection Orders, Offences if  one fails to comply with approved world heritage management plans, Powers of the Tribunal, and a whole section (Part 8) dedicated to Enforcement and Legal proceedings. There is a small section on Heritage Funds, however, out of this fund the Executive Director must also 'pay for any expenses incurred in the administration of this act, ... remuneration and allowances payble to members of the Heritage Council, committees and advisory committees under this Act' ( Australia's Heritage Act, 1995, page 126). There is little money left over to provide adequate assistance for the conservation and management of cultural heritage. For example, during 2014 - 2015 the Australian Government provided only a little over AUD $310,000 (GST inclusive) to only 30 different heritage projects across Australia! Compare this to Colorado's provision for their heritage above. The Australian Heritage system works on a 'win-lose' basis which ensures the creation of a 'reservoir of hostility for some towards heritage conservation and administration - hostility on the part of the very people society is expecting to actively conserve those heritage places' (Productivity Commission, 2006, page 220). In effect, Australia's Heritage system is based upon a win-lose situation, which creates hostility and resistance and often doesn't lead to the outcome desired. If Australia's Heritage system is not converted into a win-win situation soon, then Australia will lose it's heritage through neglect and then demolition faster than any other First World Country whose system works with property owners, instead of dictating to them

*Yes, but it sounds like other countries have a lot more money to invest in heritage compared to Australia, so what's the point? This is a defeatist attitude. It is better to examine how countries with good heritage systems have managed to raise a good amount of capital & then see how a similar system could be suitable for Australia. Other countries have made it work, Australia can as well! Remember, Australia's current heritage system is not only unfair and unethical to a small group of people, but it is also not working to preserve our heritage! Other countries have a better system for raising heritage capital to help private heritage owners look after their property. For instance Colorado, USA raises money for its State Historical Fund through limited-stakes casino revenue (for more information on Colorado's State Historical Fund please click here) . Compare this to the UK who formed a National Lottery in 1994 with proceeds from lottery funding going towards good causes - including heritage funding, (for more information on the  UK Heritage Lottery Fund please click here ). In addition, a lot more countries are realising the multiple benefits of Virtual Heritage Preservation, & in some cases use digital technology instead of formal heritage listing to preserve the past because it is more cost effective & so more properties can be preserved. 



Click here to Sign the Petition for a fairer, better alternative!
Examples of Good Heritage Systems

​* USA - Colorado
Colorado provides adequate financial assistance and good tax incentives so people try to nominate their properties to be included on the National Register of Historic Places. The Colorado Government and property owners work together to acheive the desired outcome. How does the Colorado Government obtain funding for its State Historical Fund ? Through limited-stakes casino revenue. 

Click below for evidence that in the 2015 financial year alone, Colorado provided a little over US $273 million dollars to
2,243 different historical heritage projects in Colorado.







Click below to view information on Colorado's 2016 State Historical Fund - another  US $273 million dollars to 
4,210 different historical heritage projects in Colorado








Click below to view information on how people nominate their property for the National Register of Historic Places (Colorado)
- including information on Tax Benefits of being included on this register.









Download information on the grants awarded by the Colorado Government in 2015 for conserving Colorado's heritage
Download information on Colorado's 2016 State Historical Fund
Download Information for Nominating Propoerties to the National Register of Historic Places (Colorado)

* Canada, British Columbia
​British Columbia's Heritage Conservation Act 1996 - Part 2, Section 11 - Compensation for Heritage Designation ensures the protection of the rights of private property owners to facilitate a positive co-operative relationship between the Government and private property owners.
'The system of heritage conservation in British Columbia is essentially based upon statutory listing, but with a number of key
differences to the existing system in Australia:
                - a statutory right to compensation if listing reduces the value of a property
                - a set of conservation principles that recognise private property rights and seek to balance private rights and public benefit
                - a commitment to provide financial incentives for conservation, and
                - a commitment to conservation by agreement with the property owner
The Heritage Conservation Act 1996 states that the government must compensate an owner for any reduction in market value
attributable to listing' (Productivity Commission, 2006, p. 230)

Click on the button below to view British Columbia's Heritage Conservation Act 1996
​ 




British Columbia established the Heritage Legacy Fund in 2003 and had the following to say:
'We have learned a lot in our first decade. The HLF has been meeting a need, and that need is growing.  We have learned that communities need support to ensure heritage conservation in British Columbia and not just with the upkeep and renovations of historical sites, but also to build capacity within communities around education, organizational development, values based community consultation and promotion of best practices in heritage conservation' ( http://www.heritagebc.ca/funding/heritage-legacy-fund ). 

British Columbia still have a way to go to reach Colorado's level of funding, but they are definitely stepping in the right direction. 

Download Canada, British Columbia's Heritage Conservation Act 1996
* UK
 The UK's Heritage Act 1997 (see below) promotes that financial assistance be provided to private heritage property owners. To help fund this the National Lottery was formed in 1994 with proceeds from lottery funding going towards good causes including heritage funding. Since 1994  
£7.1billion has been awarded to over 40,000, and the fund has £430million to invest in the year 2016 alone. Click here for information about the UK's Heritage Lottery Fund

In addition the UK has embraced the use of digital technology in preserving their physical heritage, with businesses such as Heritage Sector Technology Specialists now in existence. 


Download UK's Heritage Act 1997
Australia's 'Bad' Heritage System

Unfortunately Australia's heritage system is based upon a 'win-lose' mentality.  Australia's Heritage Act 1995  (see below) has a lot of information on how to go about enforcing heritage laws, and no provision for the protection of private property owners. There is a section on heritage funding, but after paying people to enforce heritage laws there is little money left over to provide adequate assistance for the conservation and management of cultural heritage.

Australian laws are set up to allow Australian Councils to have power over a private property owner in heritage matters without having to consider the financial impact of listing - as a result, nominations for heritage listing is unabated and many families are negatively affected financially. Even if some individual council members sympathise with the plight of people having their property heritage listed, there is little they can do to help within the current  framework of Australia's heritage system.  That is why it is the system that needs to change & this is the basis for this campaign

The end result of 'win-lose' laws and little financial aid will be developing resentment and hostility leading to many neglected heritage listed properties and financially devastated families. This is a situation that is bad not only for individual families affected by heritage listing, but also for the preservation of Australia's heritage listed properties. 
Download Australia's Heritage Act 1995
Click here to sign the Petition for a fairer, better alternative!