What does conservation management mean? Primarily, it involves the establishment of objectives for the identification, protection, conservation, presentation and transmission of the identified values of a recognised heritage place i.e. one that has been entered onto a register of important heritage buildings and places. Note the use of the word ‘place’ which is taken to mean any identified place whether a house, a street, a whole suburb or a designated set of streets and buildings such as a conservation area.
Management involves the development of a framework that includes reference to any statutory requirements and agency mechanisms for the protection of the identified values of the place. This involves a comprehensive description of the place including information about its location, physical features, condition, historical context and current uses and extends to a description of the identified values and any other heritage values of the place.
The management plan should describe the condition of the identified values of the place and the method used to assess the identified values of that place. It should describe the current management requirements and goals, including proposals for change and any potential pressures on the identified values. The plan ought to have policies to manage the values of the place that include in those policies guidance in relation to the following management and conservation processes:
- access and security arrangements including access to the area for locals to maintain their cultural traditions;
- stakeholder and community consultation and liaison arrangements;
- policies and protocols to ensure that locals participate in the management process;
- protocols for the management of sensitive information;
- planning and management of works, development, adaptive re-use and property divestment proposals;
- how the unforeseen discovery or disturbance of heritage is to be managed;
- how and under what circumstances heritage advice is to be obtained;
- how the condition of the identified values are to be monitored and reported upon;
- how records of intervention and maintenance of a heritage places register are to be kept;
- research, training and resources needed to improve management; and
- how heritage values are to be interpreted and promoted
The following principles apply:
- The objective in managing a heritage place is to identify, conserve, present and transmit their intrinsic values to all generations.
- The management of a heritage place should use the best available knowledge, skills and standards for those places, and include ongoing technical and community input to decisions and actions that may have a significant impact on its values.
- The management of a heritage place should respect all the values of the place and seek to integrate where appropriate any Commonwealth, State, Territory or local government responsibility for the places.
- The management of a heritage place should ensure that its use and presentation is consistent with the conservation of its values.
- The management of a heritage place should make timely and appropriate provisions for community involvement, especially by people who (a) have a particular interest in, or associations with, the place; and (b) may be affected by the management of the place.
- Indigenous people are the primary source of information on the value of their heritage and the active participation of indigenous people in identification, assessment and management is integral to the effective protection of indigenous heritage values. Consultation should be undertaken to determine the Indigenous cultural value of the place
- The management of a heritage place should provide for regular monitoring, review and reporting on the conservation of the values.
In summary, conservation management involves the best available knowledge, skills and standards and includes ongoing technical and community input to decisions and actions that may have a significant impact on values. The management of a heritage place should respect all the values of the place and should ensure that its use and presentation is consistent with the established values. The management of a heritage place should make timely and appropriate provisions for community involvement, especially by people who have an interest or association with the place and are likely to be affected by management arrangements. There is also the requirement for regular monitoring, review and reporting on the conservation of a place under management.
Paul Rappoport – Heritage 21 – 6 November 2015