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Getting the Right Advice

Our heritage is diverse and includes buildings, monuments, gardens, cemeteries, landscapes and archaeological sites.

Each one of these places contains elements that help tell its own individual story. It may be its setting, the design of a building, the material it was built from, the interior features like woodwork and cornicing, the paint colours or even the landscaping that are physical reminders of the place’s story.

Like any building – new or old – heritage buildings need regular maintenance, repairs from time to time and may also need to change and adapt to meet contemporary needs and new uses. Sensitive development or adaptive reuse is often the best way to ensure a place is used and valued into the future. Whilst sometimes more difficult than building something new, reusing heritage places makes a substantial contribution to sustainable and healthy communities. In addition to preserving our ‘sense of place’, it avoids the creation of waste and the need for replacing building materials.

As the owner or custodian of a heritage building, you might be planning any of these things but are unsure about how to go about it – where can you get help?

A great place to start is with the State Heritage Office. Our professional staff can offer practical advice and publications that will assist you with caring for or changing your heritage property. We can help you to find out what you need to think about before starting any work to make sure you get a great outcome for you and your property.

You can call one of our Development and Incentives team members during business hours on 6552 4000 or Freecall (regional) 1800 52 4000, or email us with your questions via referrals@stateheritage.wa.gov.au.

There is also a wealth of information immediately available on our website on things like maintenance and repairs. 

Read more on Maintenance and Repair.

There are quite a few things that you can do to maintain your State Heritage-registered building that don’t need to be referred to the Heritage Council for advice.  A list of these is available here. Even though these things don’t need to be referred, it’s always a good idea to check with your local government if a development approval or building permit is required before you undertake any works.

We also have a guide to help with making changes like alterations and additions.

Read the Guide to Developing Heritage Places.

For more complex projects, such as major repairs or alterations and additions, we recommend you seek expert advice from a heritage specialist on how to complete your project successfully. It is important to choose your heritage specialist carefully. They should be knowledgeable, appropriately qualified and experienced in working on heritage properties using up to date heritage conservation principles and practices. Read more on Conservation Principles.

When considering a change to a property, ask yourself the following questions:

Questions to ask yourself

  • Is my property State Registered or a locally listed heritage place?

  • Am I planning a change to a State Registered place?

  • Does my property have a Conservation Management Plan or Strategy?

  • Have I read the State Heritage Office's Guide to Developing Heritage Places?

  • What heritage specialists might I need to help me with my project?

The following table provides a list of the different types of specialists that might be needed to help on a project:


Specialist categories

  • Anthropologist

  • Arborist/Aboriculturist

  • Archaeologist

  • Architect

  • Building Surveyor

  • Conservator (Materials Conservation)

  • Cultural Heritage Practitioner

  • Draftsman

  • Energy Compliance

  • Engineer

  • Heritage Tourism

  • Historian

  • Horticulturalist

  • Interpretation

  • Landscape Architect

  • Planner

  • Universal Access

inHerit - an online portal for heritage listings

Contact Us

Our Office hours are from Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.


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Heritage is integral to the vibrant life and prosperity of Western Australia.
General Enquiries

Level 2, 491 Wellington Street, Perth WA 6000

PO Box 7479
Cloisters Square PO WA 6850

T: (08) 6551 8002
Freecall (regional): 1800 52 4000
F: (08) 6552 4001
info@dplh.wa.gov.au

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