What is a Local Heritage Survey?

The Local Heritage Survey (formerly local heritage inventories or municipal inventories) identify and record places that are, or that might become, of cultural heritage significance.

The Local Heritage Survey is a register that recognises the importance of heritage places to the local community, and provides a record of the places and location, that are an important part of the history of the area.

Under the Heritage Act 2018, place means ‘a defined or readily identifiable area of land and may include any of the following things that are in, on or over the land –

  1. Archaeological remains;
  2. Buildings, structures, other build forms, and their surrounds;
  3. Equipment, furniture, fittings and other objects (whether fixed or not that are historically or physically associated or connected with the land;
  4. Gardens and man-made parks or sites; and
  5. A tree or group of trees (whether planted or naturally occurring) in, or adjacent to, a man-made setting.

All local governments are required to compile a Local Heritage Survey under the Heritage of WA Act 2018.

The Local Heritage Survey itself is identified as having no direct statutory role in respect of the Planning and Development Act 2005, and in particular should not be used as the basis of decision making for development or subdivision proposals.  This function is served by a heritage list or heritage area.

The Shire's Local Heritage Survey is available here - Local Heritage Survey

Heritage List

The Local Heritage List is identified as having a direct statutory role in respect of the Planning and Development Act 2005; Local Planning Schemes.

Local Government has a pivotal role to play in heritage conservation management, as most of Western Australia’s cultural heritage places are significant at a local level.  This role is fulfilled largely through local government’s urban planning function.  Local Government is also the decision-maker for the majority of development proposals, whether these relate to places of local or State significance.

It is the responsibility of the Local Government to refer the development application to the Heritage Council, as required under the Heritage Act 2018.  As decision maker, the local government’s determination should be consistent with the Heritage Council’s advice, which will consider impacts on the heritage values of a place.

Decision making may be supported by local planning policies for heritage, design guidelines, and/or State Planning Policy 3.5 – Historic Heritage Conservation (view here).

Each place on the Heritage List is allocated a Management Category between A and D, with A being the most significant and D being the least.  Management Categories recognise the different levels of significance and integrity of heritage places and provide recommendations to the Shire as to the kind of care that should be taken of each place.

The most significant places (A and B) are also included on the Heritage List. 

The adoption of a heritage list is a requirement of the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015 and will be incorporated as part of the review of the Shire of Ashburton Local Planning Scheme No. 3.

What Is InHerit?

InHerit is a State Government database that bring together information about heritage places and listings in Western Australia, inHerit contains comprehensive information about cultural heritage places listed in the State Register of Heritage Places, local government inventories and other lists, the Australia Government’s heritage list, and other non-government lists and surveys.

Heritage – Indigenous First Australians

Aboriginal sites are of immense cultural, scientific, educational and historic interest and provide Aboriginal people with an important link to their present and past culture.

Information about the people who lived here for the last 45,000 years can only be obtained through the archaeological investigation of these sites.

The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage is responsible for protecting Aboriginal heritage, assisting with compliance with the Act and providing access to heritage information.

Do I need an Aboriginal heritage survey?

The State Cultural Heritage Due Diligence Guidelines assist prospective developers in assessing the risk that proposed development may have on impacting Aboriginal heritage values and whether or not they need to obtain consent under the Aboriginal Heritage Act.

If you are considering undertaking an Aboriginal heritage survey, it is recommended that you first contact the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage to discuss your circumstances.

Aboriginal heritage inquiry system

The Department of Planning Lands and Heritage website contains a link to the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and The Aboriginal Heritage Inquiry System (AHIS) which provides information concerning Aboriginal heritage places in Western Australia. 

Click here to launch the Aboriginal Heritage Inquiry System