Heritage places information and advice

Heritage places in Brisbane are identified in two ways, through Brisbane City Council’s Local heritage places and the Queensland Government’s State heritage places.

Local heritage places

Brisbane’s Local heritage places reflect aspects of our local history and culture. Heritage places range from the convict-era buildings in the Central Business District to the shops, schools, churches, factories and houses in our suburban landscape.

Local heritage places are identified on the Heritage overlay in Brisbane City Plan 2014 (City Plan). To check if a place is a Local heritage place, search the Heritage overlay in City Plan online.

Detailed information on the history or significance of a Local heritage place is also available by searching for the citation of a place in Local Heritage Places online.

State heritage places

State heritage places, also known as Queensland heritage places, are those places that are significant to the state of Queensland. State heritage places are identified in the Queensland Heritage Register. Council does not assess or manage requirements for State heritage places.

Further information on State heritage places is available at the Department of Environment and Science website or by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

Nominating a Local heritage place

Anyone can nominate a place to be considered for inclusion on the City Plan Heritage overlay by submitting an online nomination form. To be considered for inclusion, a heritage place must meet one or more of eight cultural heritage criteria. These criteria are listed in the nomination form.

Once received, a nomination is investigated by Council’s Heritage Policy team. If the place is assessed to have potential local cultural heritage significance it is proposed for inclusion on the Heritage overlay as part of a City Plan amendment process. Find information on the nomination process.

Heritage place building work and maintenance

Local heritage places are protected by Council’s legislative framework to control demolition, removal and development in accordance with the provisions in City Plan.

Development on Local heritage places is regulated to ensure the cultural heritage significance of the place is conserved. Most types of works on a Local heritage place are considered development under the Planning Regulation 2017.

Different types of development approvals are required depending on the type of work proposed to be undertaken at a Local heritage place.

Heritage Exemption Certificates

There are two types of exemption certificates.

General Exemption Certificate

  • Permits certain types of maintenance and minor work carried out in accordance with the General Exemption Certificate conditions.
  • No application required.
  • No fee applicable.
  • Applies to all Local heritage places in the Council area. 

Find out more about General Exemption Certificates.

Heritage Exemption Certificate 

  • Requires application.
  • Gives approval for low-impact work that has no more than a minor impact on cultural heritage significance of a Local heritage place.
  • Is assessed under the Queensland Heritage Act 1992.
  • Has a low fee structure and discounted fees are available for charitable and religious organisations listed in Qualifying Type 1 Religious or Charitable Organisations (formerly Appendix A) of the Schedule of Fees and Charges.

Find out more about Heritage Exemption Certificates.

Development approvals

Development approvals provide approval for work that may have more than a minor impact on cultural heritage significance or complex or large-scale proposals for changes to a Local heritage place.

Development applications are assessed under City Plan.

Development applications have a higher fee structure. Refer to Council’s Schedule of Fees and Charges.

Caring for Local heritage places

Check Council's fact sheets for advice about caring for a heritage property:

It is not necessary to employ qualified professionals or tradespeople to carry out building work; however, it is recommended experienced contractors who have specialist heritage conservation skills and demonstrated heritage experience do the conservation work. This will help protect the property’s heritage significance and safeguard its integrity and monetary value.

Regular maintenance and ongoing repairs also help protect property values and avoid expensive remedial work.

In line with good heritage practice it is recommended to keep a record of works in a logbook. As a continuous record of a place over time a logbook is a useful reference for future owners.

Public access to privately owned heritage places

The public do not have right of access to privately owned Local heritage places, nor are you required to make your property accessible to the public.

More information

For information on conservation and guidelines to plan for future work, you can read our heritage property fact sheets.

For information about the different types of approvals for work on a Local heritage place, including the General Exemption Certificate, you can read information about development on Local heritage places.

For information on the different requirements of the City Plan, view heritage and character buildings.

Alternatively, you can contact Council.

Last updated: 29 June 2023

Brisbane City Council acknowledges this Country and its Traditional Custodians. We pay our respects to the Elders, those who have passed into the dreaming; those here today; those of tomorrow.