Steele Law: Expert heritage lawyers


In Australia, important heritage places can be protected under Commonwealth and State legislation.

Commonwealth legislation

The key Commonwealth legislation for protecting heritage places is the Environment Protection Biodiversity Conversation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).  The EPBC Act protects "Matters of National Environmental Significance" including declared "World Heritage Properties" and "National Heritage Places" by providing that development which is likely to have a significant impact on such places be properly assessed and approved before it is commenced.

The Commonwealth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984 (ATSIHP Act) applies to important indigenous heritage objects and places and authorises the Minister for the Environment to make a declaration protecting objects or places from a "threat of injury or desecration".

NSW legislation

In NSW, important heritage places are protected under the Heritage Act 1977, which provides for such places to be listed on the State Heritage Register (SHR) and for the making of interim or emergency heritage orders.

A listing on the SHR or the making of an interim emergency order provides a measure of protection for heritage places from development which may affect that place by requiring that the development by authorised by the Heritage Council.

Heritage Floor Space - Sydney CBD


How we can help

Based in Sydney, we assist clients across NSW to resolve complex heritage law matters. At Steele Law, we can help you by:

  • advising you on the Commonwealth and NSW heritage legislation applicable to a particular heritage item or place;
  • advising you as to your rights to carry out development which may affect a protected heritage item or place and assisting you to obtain approval to exercise those rights; and
  • advising on how to protect an important heritage item or place threatened by proposed development.

Our experience

Examples of projects upon which we have worked which demonstrate our heritage law experience can be found here.

Contact us

To see how we can help you, please contact us for a confidential and obligation free initial consultation.