Victorian Heritage Register
The Victorian Heritage Register (VHR) lists places deemed to be of cultural heritage significance to the State of Victoria, Australia. It has statutory weight under the Heritage Act 1995 which established Heritage Victoria as the State Government listing and permit authority. Listing on the Victorian Heritage Register is separate from listing by a local Council or Shire, known as a Heritage Overlay. Heritage Victoria is currently part of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning of the Government of Victoria, Australia. Heritage Victoria reports to the Heritage Council who approve recommendations to the Register and hear appeals when a registration is disputed. The Council also hears appeals by an owner to a permit issued by Heritage Victoria (third parties cannot appeal). The Minister for Planning is the responsible Minister for Heritage Victoria and the Heritage Act 1995. As of 2013, there were over 2,200 places and objects listed on the VHR.
Types of places
The Act allows the registration of a wide range of cultural heritage places and objects, including:
- historic archaeological sites and artefacts
- historic buildings, structures and precincts
- gardens, trees and cemeteries
- cultural landscapes
- shipwrecks and relics
- significant objects and collections
Places listed on the Victorian Heritage Register can be found on the Victorian Heritage Database, which also lists many places with a local level of protection. The database can be accessed here.
A place listed on the Victorian Heritage Register does not mean a place cannot be demolished or altered; instead a permit from Heritage Victoria is required, which may or may not be granted, or granted with conditions. Information on permits can be found here. 'Delisting' a place occurs only if the place has been destroyed (for instance by fire), or a permit has been granted for total demolition or alterations so extensive the place no longer has State level significance. The Planning Minister may intervene in the process of listing or the granting of a permit, by not accepting the advice of Heritage Victoria or the Heritage Council, preventing a place from being listed, or allowing greater alteration or even total demolition.
All places and objects listed on the register are entitled to a Blue plaque.
- "Conservation of Australia's Historic Heritage Places" Archived 2014-02-12 at the Wayback Machine, Inquiry report 2006
- Blue Plaques, Department of Planning and Community Development, Victoria, archived from the original on 25 February 2011, retrieved 14 February 2011