Brisbane’s heritage places reflect aspects of our history and culture. Heritage places include convict-era buildings in the Central Business District (CBD) as well as shops, schools, churches, factories, houses, parks and gardens of our suburban landscape.

In response to community concerns, Brisbane City Council introduced heritage listing as legislation in the 1987 Town Plan. The aim of heritage listing was to protect a number of buildings in the CBD and some inner suburbs. These heritage listed places were compiled to become Brisbane's original Heritage Register.

Explore Brisbane’s diverse range of places on Brisbane's Local Heritage Places online. These include:

  • buildings
  • precincts
  • parks, gardens and trees
  • war memorials, statues and monuments
  • bridges, shelters and retaining walls
  • sewer vents and fire hydrants.

Council’s Heritage overlay, in Brisbane City Plan 2014, aims to identify and protect places of cultural heritage significance in Brisbane. Local Heritage Places are identified continually through Council’s various planning processes, surveys and studies.

Members of the public, including property owners, can also nominate places for potential inclusion in the Heritage overlay. Find out how you can nominate a place.

Other heritage registers and lists

All levels of government in Australia maintain statutory registers and lists of heritage places. For example, the Australian Heritage Database allows searching across:

  • National Heritage List
  • World Heritage List
  • Commonwealth Heritage List
  • List of Overseas Places of Historic Significance to Australia
  • Register of the National Estate (non-statutory archive) 

Various non-government organisations also maintain non-statutory lists of places, including the National Trust of Australia in each state.

The Queensland Heritage Register identifies state heritage places protected in the Queensland Heritage Act 1992 within Brisbane and across the state.

Legal provisions

Heritage protection is afforded to places in Brisbane under the:


Heritage overlay map

The Heritage overlay mapped in Brisbane City Plan 2014 , identifies places that have local or state heritage significance. The associated Heritage overlay code explains what development would be appropriate on, or adjoining, a site in the Heritage overlay to ensure the cultural heritage significance, or Indigenous cultural values of a place or area, are not compromised.

Building work to places in the Heritage overlay should be in line with the Heritage overlay code and any other planning scheme provisions (such as a neighbourhood plan code if applicable). You may need to lodge a development application for sites within the Heritage overlay. Assessable development may relate to:

  • demolition or removal of a building or other significant feature
  • conservation and restoration work to a building or other significant feature
  • alterations, renovations or additions to a building or other significant feature; and
  • subdivision of a property.

A privately-owned place identified on the Heritage overlay map as having heritage value does not result in the public having a right of access to that place.


Managing a heritage place

Restoring a heritage place is not compulsory. Owners do need to undertake essential maintenance to help prevent deterioration or serious damage to their local heritage place under the Queensland Heritage Act 1992. However, there are many benefits to conserving and maintaining a heritage place in good condition, such as maintaining the value of the place and building insurance cover.  

If a property is identified as becomes a local heritage place, it does not mean that it cannot be altered or improved. However, Council needs to assess works and development on the property to ensure heritage values are not lost or damaged. Using a local heritage place is the best way to ensure it has an ongoing role in the community. Development and use of a Local heritage place does need to be done in a way that retains and supports the heritage value of the place – its “significance”.

Before renovating, building something new or subdividing a heritage place, you will need to obtain approval from Council by lodging a development application that shows how the proposal will not detract from the heritage values of the place. 

Find more information including Heritage place fact sheets on Council’s website.

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