Listing is not designed to 'freeze the place in time'. Listed places can continue to be used, maintained, be sold or leased. All proposed uses of heritage places must be tested against the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) to ensure that the use does not have a significant impact on heritage values.
Adapting a National Heritage place for a new use
Adaptive re-use is can ensure the survival of heritage values for future generations. Managers planning a new use should ensure that the change of use and necessary physical changes do not have a significant impact on the heritage values.
Maintenance work and heritage places
Routine maintenance can usually be carried out without the need for a referral. The preparation of a management plan will clarify what works (including maintenance works) can be carried out at a place listed on the National Heritage List without going through the referral process.
Items and areas on a listed place
Areas and items within the boundaries of the listing will usually embody heritage values, and therefore enjoy the protection of that listing. Your management plan should specify areas and items that do not embody heritage values and that could be removed or altered without adverse impacts on the heritage values.
It may be possible to alter or remove areas within a listed place, or items of movable heritage (eg machinery) on a listed site, provided the items or elements do not embody heritage values or are not essential to the understanding of the heritage values of the place.
Building on a listed place
National Heritage listing does not preclude new development, provided it does not have a significant impact on the heritage values of the place. New development may enhance the heritage values of a place or item, especially where the heritage significance of a place derives from its continued use. New development must be carefully planned and assessed on an individual basis.
The sale, leasing or other disposal of a listed place
National Heritage listing does not prevent an owner from selling the place. However, where the owner is the Australian Government, it must take steps to ensure that the protection of the place's heritage values is safeguarded after it passes into the new owner's control.
Owners may also lease the place to another party in whole or part provided this is not incompatible with the heritage values. The owner must also ensure that the lessee does not carry out actions that will have a significant impact on heritage values.
Subdivision of a National Heritage place is also possible, provided it does not result in significant impacts on the heritage values of the place.