Heritage questions and answers | Brisbane City Council

Heritage questions and answers

There are a wide range of issues associated with heritage places - from what makes them significant, to how they are best managed for long-term care.

The following questions and answers about places on Brisbane’s heritage register should provide specific information for owners.

How can I check if a property is heritage-listed?

To find out if your property is heritage-listed:

What organisations have the legislation to protect heritage places?

The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, and Council are the only two organisations that provide Brisbane properties with legal protection.

What is the difference between state and Council heritage listings?

The Queensland Heritage Branch registers properties to the Queensland Heritage Register. Council's Heritage Unit oversees properties added to the Brisbane Heritage Register.

What is the difference between a heritage place (or precinct) and character house in a Traditional building character overlay?

Character houses are those particular to the area's character. Houses of traditional building character are identified in the Traditional building character overlay code in Brisbane City Plan 2014.

Heritage places or precincts are identified as of 'cultural heritage significance' when they fulfill specific criteria.

What criteria is used for heritage listing a place?

For Queensland Government listing, check the Queensland Heritage Register.

Can I nominate a place for the Brisbane Heritage Register?

Yes, if the place meets one or more of Council’s heritage criteria.

Send the property details including address, images and/or historical material to Council's Heritage Unit.

How is my heritage place protected?

Your heritage place is protected by Council’s legislative framework to control demolition, removal and development in accordance with the Brisbane City Plan 2014 provisions.

What is Council’s Heritage Unit role?

Council’s Heritage Unit oversees Brisbane's Heritage Register to identify and conserve Brisbane's heritage places.

The unit also provides recommendations to Civic Cabinet and the Heritage Advisory Committee.

Who are the Heritage Advisory Committee?

The committee is an independent body including representatives from professional, industry and community members providing advice to Civic Cabinet.

Can I receive financial help for my heritage place?

Yes. You can apply for a grant to conserve a heritage-listed property through the Heritage Incentives Scheme. Assistance may be provided to conserve aspects of property that contribute to historical significance, but not new development. 

The scheme also provides free architectural advice service to help owners care for their properties.

Do I need to get permission for maintenance and repainting work?

No. If the original fabric is unharmed, you do not need permission for routine maintenance and repainting. Check Council's fact sheets for advice about caring for heritage property:

Also, check the Heritage Incentives Scheme to identify work that will qualify for Council's partial funding.

Is it necessary to employ qualified professionals or tradespeople to carry out building work?

No. It is advised that experienced professionals and tradespeople do the conservation work. This will protect the property’s heritage significance, and safeguard its integrity and monetary value.

What is 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.

Am I obliged to carry out special maintenance on my heritage place?

No. It's in your interest to carry out ongoing maintenance to protect property value and avoid expensive remedial work.

However, Queensland heritage-registered property owners may be required to secure and stabilise deteriorating structures by notice from the Department of Heritage and Environment Protection.

Will my property value be effected by heritage listing?

Each heritage place is different so this cannot be generalised. 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.

Will insurance premiums be affected?

This may vary depending on the insurance company and 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
  • condition.

Does the public have the right of access to my property?

No, the public do not have heritage property right of access.

More information

If you wish to find out more, Council's fact sheet Heritage and character buildings can provide additional information of you can contact Council’s City Architecture and Heritage team

25 September 2014