Heritage places information and advice

Brisbane City Council aims to identify and protect places of cultural heritage significance. On this page, find out about legislative roles and responsibilities, how heritage places are protected, tips for building and maintenance, and potential financial effects of heritage listing such as property value and insurance premiums.

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 (CBD) to the shops, schools, churches, factories and houses in our suburban landscape. In response to community concerns, Brisbane City Council introduced heritage listing as legislation in the 1987 Town Plan. 

Heritage protection is afforded to places in Brisbane under the:

  • Heritage overlay (within the City Plan)
  • Queensland Heritage Register

How to check if a property is heritage listed

  1. Search for your property in Local Heritage Places online
  2. For local heritage places, check the Heritage overlay in City Plan online (electronic version of Brisbane City Plan 2014).
  3. For state heritage places, check the the Queensland Heritage Register.

Further information

  • For local heritage places, phone Council on 07 3403 8888
  • For state heritage places, contact Queensland Department of Environment and Science on 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

Legislation and oversight

Government roles and responsibilities

Council and the State Government's Department of Environment and Science are the only two organisations that provide Brisbane heritage properties with legal protection.

The State Government's Queensland Heritage Branch registers heritage places in the Queensland Heritage Register.

Council's City Architecture and Heritage team oversees:

  • adding local heritage places to the Brisbane City Plan 2014 (City Plan) Heritage overlay
  • Local Heritage Places online to identify and conserve Brisbane's heritage places.

The team also provides recommendations to Civic Cabinet and the Heritage Advisory Committee. The committee is an independent body including representatives from professional, industry and community members providing advice to Civic Cabinet.

Protection for heritage places

Your heritage place is protected by Council’s legislative framework to control demolition, removal and development in accordance with the City Plan provisions.

The Burra Charter

The Burra Charter provides conservation and management guidance for Australian places of cultural heritage significance.

The Australia International Council on Monuments and Sites, who oversee the charter, is the peak body for heritage conservation.

Definitions - heritage place and character house

A character house is particular to the area's character. Houses of traditional building character are identified in the Traditional building character overlay in City Plan. Development is guided by the Traditional building character (design) overlay code and demolition is assessed using the Traditional building character (demolition) overlay code.

A heritage place or precinct is identified as of 'cultural heritage significance' when it fulfils specific criteria. Local heritage places are included in the Heritage overlay mapping in City Plan and the majority of development on the site of a Local heritage place will require assessment against the Heritage overlay code.

Nominating a place

Use Local Heritage Places online to find out if a heritage place meets one or more of Council’s  local cultural heritage criteria. If it does, you can nominate the place to be investigated for inclusion as a local heritage place in the Heritage overlay in City Plan. Find criteria and nominate a place.

Heritage place building work and maintenance

If the original fabric of a heritage place is unharmed, you do not need permission for routine maintenance and repainting (i.e. painting areas that were already painted). Check Council's fact sheets for advice about caring for heritage property:

It is not necessary to employ qualified professionals or tradespeople to carry out building work, however, it is recommended experienced professionals and tradespeople 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.

Financial effects of heritage listing

Property values

Whether the property value will be affected by a heritage listing cannot be generalised as every heritage place is different. A residential zone house should not suffer any loss in value.

It may rise in value with the certainty of heritage protection. This benefit can flow on to nearby properties because the listing helps to protect the streetscape's character.

Insurance premiums 

Effects on insurance premiums may vary depending on the insurance company and the specific circumstances of a heritage place.

Heritage status alone, should have no effect on insurance premiums. Insurance cover should reflect the building's age, construction and condition.

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.

You can also refer to the City Plan fact sheet about heritage and character buildings.

Alternatively, you can contact Council.

Last updated: 19 May 2022

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.