The Venice Charter, which resulted from the deliberations of practitioners about the restoration of flood-damaged buildings in Venice in 1964, has become the fundamental reference for cultural heritage conservation policies.1 The aim of conservation is to protect the tangible and intangible values of the heritage resource: materials, workmanship, design, symbolic meanings, and setting, and to ensure their integrity for future generations.2
As urban and rural development in post-World War II Australia overtook the legacy of British colonial infrastructure and cleared vast tracts for farmland, voices were raised in favor of the conservation of our built and natural inheritance. However, since 1901, Australia has been a federation of states and territories, with three tiers of government fiercely guarding their roles. Land-use planning, including conservation, is a state responsibility that has been increasingly challenged by the national government through its international treaty powers. In response to the community’s interest in conserving natural and cultural heritage, Australia ICOMOS drew up a heritage conservation charter that responded to the Australian social, cultural, and physical environment but embodied key principles of the Venice Charter.
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