Making heritage a national responsibility: the Commonwealth and the National Estate 1969-1974

Sharon Veale, Robert Freestone, Kristian Ruming

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


    The Report of the Committee of Inquiry into the National Estate published in 1974 is a symbolic highpoint of national engagement in cultural heritage and effectively paved the way for establishment of the Australian Heritage Commission and the Register of the National Estate. The events which lead up to this breakthrough are less well known. Heritage conservation entered the arena of public policy only gradually from the 1960s. At the national level, our main focus, it was championed by Tom Uren and Gough Whitlam whose vision for Australian cities and regions linked heritage to a broader Commonwealth mandate. Influential in their thinking was the American precedent of federal involvement in conservation. This paper explores the years leading up to and immediately following the 1972 Federal Election and formation of the Department of Urban and Regional Development – with its often overlooked role in heritage conservation – in 1973. In reflecting on the more recent neo-liberal dismantling of extensive national involvement in heritage conservation, we trace the rise and fall of the concept of the National Estate.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationUrban transformations booms, busts and other catastrophes
    Subtitle of host publicationproceedings of the 11th Australasian Urban History/​Planning History Conference
    EditorsAndrea Gaynor
    Place of PublicationPerth
    PublisherUniversity of Western Australia
    Number of pages14
    ISBN (Print)9781740522465
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    EventAustralasian Urban History/Planning History Conference (11th : 2012) - Perth
    Duration: 5 Feb 20128 Feb 2012


    ConferenceAustralasian Urban History/Planning History Conference (11th : 2012)


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