Access to adequate resources – including funding, data and human resources – is required for effective heritage protection and management. Assessment Heritage resourcing 2021 Somewhat adequate confidence Resourcing (funding and the skills base) has been identified as inadequate in all state of the environment report chapters on heritage since 1996. Agencies with heritage management responsibilities are understaffed and lack adequate resources to meet these responsibilities adequately. Resourcing constraints prevent Australian protected area agencies from addressing major conservation priorities. Funding programs for public and private conservation are inadequate and too narrowly focused in heritage conservation scope, and incentives and conservation assistance for private heritage owners are inadequate. There are inadequate heritage expert staff employed in all heritage areas. Relevant skills are underappreciated in some areas, and in other areas increased training is required. Related to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals target 11.4 Legend How was this assessment made Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Linkedin Share this link Assessment Heritage resourcing for Indigenous heritage 2021 Somewhat adequate confidence 2016 2011 Indigenous heritage programs and arts funding support community-level programs. However, the level of funding is often considered insufficient to cover the diversity of Indigenous communities. In 2021, the Australian Government announced that $102 million will be available annually through to 2028 for Indigenous ranger activities, specifically to develop longer-term programs that create innovative ways to protect environmental and cultural heritage assets. Assessment Heritage resourcing for natural heritage 2021 Limited confidence 2016 2011 The level of resourcing for protected areas is being maintained, but is inadequate to meet the ongoing and increasing challenges of managing these areas. Funding for labour-intensive conservation has been insufficient for some time, resulting in a heavy dependence on volunteers to undertake such work. Natural values expert staffing is generally inadequate at all levels of government. Assessment Heritage resourcing for geoheritage 2021 Limited confidence Similar to natural heritage, but with funding and expert staffing less adequate. There is inadequate geoheritage expertise to service expert staffing needs. Additional resources are needed to establish a protective framework for geoheritage and to ensure that geoheritage lists are efficiently populated. Assessment Heritage resourcing for historic heritage 2021 Somewhat adequate confidence 2016 2011 Although the level of resourcing of agencies managing historic heritage has generally been maintained over the past 5 years, it remains inadequate for the routine work required, to improve identification of the historic heritage, to assess it, and to address changing circumstances and new issues. Heritage expert staffing levels are also inadequate, especially for underwater cultural heritage. Limited availability of traditionally trained craftspeople is continuing to hamper heritage conservation. Assessment Heritage resourcing for World Heritage 2021 Somewhat adequate confidence Resourcing remains inadequate for improving the identification of World Heritage and the detailed assessment and nomination process, and is not keeping up with increasing needs. Heritage expert staffing levels are also inadequate to support World Heritage work, including more collaborative management with state and territory managers. Assessment Heritage resourcing for National Heritage 2021 Somewhat adequate confidence Resourcing remains inadequate for improving the identification of National Heritage and the detailed assessment and nomination process, and is not keeping up with increasing needs. Heritage expert staffing levels are also inadequate to support National Heritage work, including more collaborative management with state and territory managers. Funding Without adequate funding and support from government, it is challenging to implement heritage protection measures that are likely to produce sustainable and long-term results. Heritage funding is primarily a government responsibility, given that heritage protection is a public benefit and much heritage, particularly within protected areas, is also largely government owned and managed. Although there is room for industry funding for heritage, to avoid potential conflicts of interest, this needs to be limited to appropriate activities such as improved conservation on industry-owned or managed land, or the repair of adverse legacies of industry. Private funding is not a realistic option; to date, there has been little appetite in the philanthropic arena to contribute to heritage, except by purchasing land for nature conservation. Resourcing for heritage (both funding and the skills base) has been identified as inadequate in all state of the environment reports from 1996. In 1996, national-level heritage management was seen to be adequately resourced, but local government was noted as lacking adequate skills and resources. By 2001, however, a decline in public sector budgets and the lack of long-term funding programs for Indigenous and historic heritage were raised as heritage management issues. In 2006, decline in the operational budgets for protected areas nationally and inadequate funding for cultural heritage were identified as funding issues (Purdie et al. 1996, Lennon et al. 2001, Lennon 2006), with funding for historic heritage described as ‘grossly insufficient for demand’ (Lennon 2006:31). Funding for heritage between 2006 and 2011 was reported as declining in relation to dollar value and an increasing heritage estate. Although not meeting demand, funding suffered a cut of 22% at the national level between 2010–11 and 2011–12. There has been no restoration of this funding. Since 2011, public sector funding for heritage in most areas has remained much the same, but effectively is continuing to decline in relation to the size of the heritage estate to be managed. Funding is inadequate for general management and dealing with increased pressures on heritage, particularly climate- and industry-related pressures (SoE 2011 Committee 2011, Mackay 2016a). The existing largely competitive, short-term, specific program–based approach to funding and the limited grant funding is an inadequate model for meeting all heritage needs. Much of the funding is directed at listed places or high-status protected areas (e.g. World Heritage properties) and does not meet the level of need. The determination of priorities means that it is difficult for urgent new priorities to get funded, and it is difficult to establish long-term heritage conservation programs. In addition, the traditional focus of heritage grant funding on repair and conservation works for heritage properties, and restoration of natural heritage, although important, leaves core areas such as heritage research largely unfunded. Areas that are inadequately funded are heritage identification, conservation management planning for privately owned cultural heritage, heritage condition assessment, and research and development in heritage conservation and practice. Significant additional resources are required to arrest the decline in the condition of Australia’s heritage and provide an adequate level of management. Two types of funding are needed: increased recurrent funding to agencies for adequate levels of skilled staff and core tasks (including heritage identification and listing, monitoring, strategic and management planning, and restoration); and special project funding for research and conservation works, based on identified needs. Priorities for funding are: substantially boosting the capacity of those parts of the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment that have responsibilities in relation to the heritage provisions of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act), particularly the Heritage Branch an Australia-wide program for systematic cultural heritage identification and documentation, aimed at achieving comprehensive geographic coverage and heritage listings, including at the local government level support for the necessary research, evaluation and strategic planning needed to meet the challenges from climate change for heritage assistance for heritage owners through grant funding, and other in-kind support and incentives for heritage conservation and management, and by making heritage advice more widely available at the local level. Current government funding Heritage continues to be underfunded at all levels of government. Funding has been identified by experts as a major issue in this review (McConnell 2021a, McConnell 2021b). Funding to heritage and protected area agencies in 2016–21 has remained relatively stable, although some jurisdictions experienced a slight loss of funding in 2019–20 due to reduced incomes because of the COVID-19 pandemic (Figures 32 and 33). The long-term funding decline for heritage and protected area agencies, coinciding with increases in the scale of work, has resulted in staffing levels and expertise that are considered inadequate. Heritage and protected area agencies appear to be struggling to carry out routine operational work (e.g. processing register nominations, updating management plans, undertaking condition monitoring). Inadequate resourcing also means that agencies are unable to take on essential strategic-level work (see Strategic planning and adaptive management). Under the current funding model, recurrent funding to agencies is augmented by government grant funding, largely for particular programs viewed by government as conservation priorities, and in several cases via a competitive process. In 2019–20, the Australian Government provided $16.6 million in heritage grants, almost double the amount since 2015–16 (Table 1). Of this, $5.3 million per year was for the Australian Government’s competitive Australian Heritage Grants Program. Initiated in 2018–19, this program is to support a wide range of work related to National Heritage places. In the past 3 years, around 40% of the Australian Heritage Grants Program–funded projects were World Heritage property related, although these properties are only 27% of the National Heritage–listed places. This grant program is only slightly greater than the combined Australian Heritage and Icons Grant Program and Protecting National Historic Sites Program that it replaced (collectively $4.8 million in 2017–18), although this combined fund varied significantly over its life (e.g. around $1.54 million in 2016–17 and $9 million in 2014–15) (DAWE 2021b, McConnell 2021d). The $16.6 million is a relatively small amount when considered in the context of recent Australian Government funding for heritage-related initiatives outside the grants program, such as the almost $50 million to commemorate the arrival of Captain Cook in Australia, $100 million for a World War 1 memorial visitor centre in France and $500 million to extend the Australian War Memorial (Daley 2018, Ireland 2018). Most Australian Government funding for the environment does not specifically address heritage protection – for example, the National Environmental Science Program, for which $145 million was committed between 2014–15 and 2020–21; and the Environment Restoration Fund, for which $100 million is committed from 2019–20 to 2022–23. Although some of this funding is likely to contribute to natural heritage management broadly, in general, heritage is poorly funded and is not clearly differentiated from the wider pool of environmental funding. The only clearly identifiable funding for natural heritage is the Our Marine Parks Grants Program, which has had $5 million spent in an initial round and a further $6 million allocated in a second round (DAWE 2021a). State and territory governments provide heritage grant funding primarily for places listed on state heritage registers, and then mainly for conservation works. New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory are the only jurisdictions where grant funding is available for nonlisted places, and these and South Australia were the only jurisdictions identified as providing grant funding for other than conservation works. Grant funding is mostly less than around $400,000 in each jurisdiction (when the allocations for dedicated ongoing programs, primarily funding to government-owned heritage places, organisations or state heritage adviser programs, are considered. State and territory grant funding for Indigenous heritage and underwater cultural heritage is also limited. The cessation of the National Estate Grants Program in the 1990s continues to be a particular issue for cultural heritage. Although new forms of funding were provided to natural heritage at this time, no new forms of funding were provided for cultural heritage, and no similar alternative funding opportunities exist. This has had a significant impact on cultural heritage management (du Cros 2019), particularly heritage identification and listing. Figure 32 Funding for Australian heritage agencies, 2016–20 Expand View Figure 32 Funding for Australian heritage agencies, 2016–20 ACT = Australian Capital Territory; DAWE = Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment; NSW = New South Wales; NT = Northern Territory; Qld = Queensland; SA = South Australia; Tas = Tasmania; UCH = underwater cultural heritage; Vic = Victoria; WA = Western Australia Note: These figures are comparable to those presented in the state of the environment 2016 Heritage chapter; however, they are not highly comparable across jurisdiction given differences in the way the figures were provided. The figures for Qld, SA and WA are for the full department not just the heritage agency (in these cases, an artificial cap of $150,000,000 was put on the amount for graphic purposes). The figures for Qld, Vic and WA had figures missing for some years and have been corrected by averaging the annual figure based on the data provided and giving a 5-year total of the annual average. No data were provided by Tas for underwater cultural heritage or by Vic for Indigenous heritage. No data available. Source: McConnell (2021d) Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Linkedin Share this link Figure 33 Total funding for Australian protected area agencies, 2016–20 Expand View Figure 33 Total funding for Australian protected area agencies, 2016–20 ACT = Australian Capital Territory; DAWE = Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment; MPA = marine protected area; NSW = New South Wales; NT = Northern Territory; Qld = Queensland; SA = South Australia; Tas = Tasmania; TPA = terrestrial protected area; UCH = underwater cultural heritage; Vic = Victoria; WA = Western Australia Note: These figures are comparable to those presented in the state of the environment 2016 Heritage chapter; however, they are not highly comparable across jurisdiction given the differences in the way the figures were provided. The figure for SA is for the full department. No data were provided by NSW. No data available. Source: McConnell (2021d) Download Go to data.gov Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Linkedin Share this link Table 1 Heritage grant funding, 2015–16 to 2019–20 Funding source 2015–16 ($) 2016–17 ($) 2017–18 ($) 2018–19 ($) 2019–20 ($) Australian Government (DAWE) 10,400,000 11,100,000 16,100,000 20,200,000 19,600,000 Australian Government (UCH under UCH Act 2018) n.d. n.d. n.d. n.d. n.d. ACT (HH + IH + NH) 363,000 351,978 345,000 355,000 355,000 Northern Territory (HH + IH + NH) 312,000 302,000 430,000 438,000 149,000 Northern Territory (UCH) 0 0 0 0 0 New South Wales (HH + IH+ UCH) 2,090,000 7,700,000 5,030,000 14,560,000 510,000 Queensland (HH) n.d. n.d. n.d. n.d. n.d. Queensland (IH) n.d. n.d. n.d. n.d. n.d. Queensland (UCH) n.d. n.d. n.d. n.d. n.d. South Australia (HH) 0 0 0 250,000 250,000 South Australia (IH) 0 0 0 0 0 South Australia (UCH) n.d. n.d. n.d. n.d. n.d. Tasmania (HH) 3,561,561 3,404,000 3,542,000 4,579,000 5,806,000 Tasmania (IH) n.d. n.d. n.d. n.d. n.d. Tasmania (UCH) 50,000 60,000 60,000 60,000 60,000 Victoria (HH) n.d. 7,500,000 14,000,000 10,500,000 12,625,000 Victoria (IH) n.d. n.d. n.d. n.d. n.d. Victoria (UCH) 0 0 0 0 0 Western Australia (HH) 1,273,000 1,273,000 1,222,000 1,222,000 1,221,000 Western Australia (IH) 250,000 250,000 250,000 250,000 250,000 Western Australia (UCH) n.d. n.d. n.d. n.d. n.d. ACT = Australian Capital Territory; HH = historic heritage; IH = Indigenous heritage; n.d. = no data; NH = natural heritage (including geoheritage); UCH = underwater cultural heritage; UCH Act 2018 = Underwater Cultural Heritage Act 2018 Notes: There may be anomalies in the figures for 2015–16 between this report and the state of the environment 2016 report due to the different way in which the figures were collected. The figures for Victoria are annual totals for the Living Heritage Grants Program recombined from subprogram figures, in many cases for more than 1 year (in this case, even annual funding has been assumed). The figures also may not include all heritage grant funding for the period considered, but are believed to include the main grant funding for heritage. This table only includes grant funding for heritage conservation. Protected area grant funding is not included, as grant funding for protected area conservation is not comparable. Protected area grant funding and the National Environmental Science Program funding focuses on protected area management, biodiversity conservation and environmental management, but a portion of this funding goes to natural heritage conservation. This grant funding can be for places in private ownership, government-owned places and/or nongovernment organisations (NGOs). In South Australia, the Northern Territory (NT) and Western Australia (WA), the historic heritage–focused grant funding goes to heritage places in private ownership, with funding to government-owned heritage and NGOs provided separately. In WA, funding also goes to the Roebourne Gaol and to Fremantle Prison (a World Heritage and National Heritage place). Tasmania’s grant funding goes predominantly to Woolmers Estate, a World Heritage and National Heritage place, and additional funding is provided to the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, a government-owned heritage place, and to the National Trust (Tas). In 2019–20, the NT also provided $435,000 for government-owned places and $136,000 as an operational grant to the National Trust (NT). Source: McConnell (2021d) Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Linkedin Share this link Government funding for Indigenous heritage The 2016 state of the environment Heritage chapter stated that (Mackay 2016c): Indigenous heritage has not been comprehensively surveyed and assessed across any Australian jurisdiction. Many of the assessments that have occurred were development driven and localised, or occasionally part of academic or community research projects. Knowledge of the nature and extent of Indigenous heritage resources is therefore incomplete, and decisions made based on this incomplete picture place pressure on an unknown but finite resource. This situation has continued, and there remains a paucity of centralised data and assessments in relation to Indigenous heritage. This lack of understanding contributes to the relatively small amount of funding specifically allocated to Indigenous heritage. Given the importance of Indigenous heritage to Indigenous communities, especially in relation to wellbeing (VAHC 2021b), and its wider importance to Australian heritage as a whole, the relatively low portions of funding for specifically Indigenous heritage are concerning. The 2020–21 Budget put forward by the Morrison Government included a $61.7 million environment and heritage package, but only a small portion of this allocation was aimed specifically at benefiting Indigenous heritage (Slezak & Timms 2020). Some $500,000 was allocated to improve Indigenous heritage protections and for Indigenous involvement in decision-making around the EPBC Act (Collard 2021, Cross 2021b). There was also $10.1 million committed over 4 years to the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) (Wyatt 2020). This funding is to allow AIATSIS to continue its highly successful Return of Cultural Heritage initiative, which facilitates the return of objects of great significance to Traditional Owners. Another $2.2 million has been allocated to expedite the assessment of applications and improve the administration of new applications under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984 (Cth). Indigenous heritage programs and arts funding also support community-level programs. However, this is not always sufficient. For example, $20 million from the Australia Council (Office for the Arts 2021) for language programs is seen by many as inadequate (Olawsky 2020), particularly when compared with the amounts allocated to sports, arts and foreign aid (see the Indigenous chapter). Information and data Information and data form the basis of protection, strategic planning and adaptive management (see Strategic planning and adaptive management). As noted by the recent EPBC Act Review (Samuel 2020:2), ‘better data and information are needed to set clear outcomes, effectively plan and invest in a way that delivers them, and to efficiently regulate development’. Funding for the coordination, sharing and management of data nationally is also noted as a priority by du Cros (2019). The information being collected for heritage is insufficient for these key areas, including for monitoring and evaluation of heritage sites, and monitoring and evaluation of agencies and management (McConnell 2021d, McConnell 2021a). The most comprehensive, systematic and nationally standard data are for natural heritage and biodiversity values, and underwater cultural heritage, possibly reflecting that there are national frameworks for these. Historic and Indigenous heritage have significantly less data available. Minimal routine condition monitoring is undertaken for Australian heritage sites, except where there are specific site-based issues (e.g. monitoring of climate change impacts on the Great Barrier Reef). This lack is concerning because of the increasing pressures on heritage places. The lack of adequate or nationally comparable data has been raised as an issue for heritage in every state of the environment report, starting in 1996. As noted in 2016, the ‘general lack of condition audits and monitoring for listed heritage places presents a continuing challenge for conservation and management and places a growing number of heritage places at risk’ (Mackay 2016a:59). Condition monitoring is essential to trigger adaptive management, and its lack is seen as a major contributing factor in the decline in the state of Australia’s heritage. Human resources Human expertise and time are important to all areas of heritage management. The skills base needed for heritage conservation includes experts in specific areas of heritage and heritage management, and tradespeople and craftspeople with skills in heritage construction, repair and restoration methods. These can be contemporary or traditional skills and knowledge. Many Indigenous people and communities hold and practise a wealth of knowledge and high-level skills that would greatly benefit many aspects of heritage practice in Australia, through expanded opportunities for both participation in, and being empowered across, all levels of heritage management. Embedded in Indigenous cultures is deep knowledge of how to care for, respect and protect Indigenous heritage in culturally appropriate ways. Failure to empower Indigenous people to be involved in decision-making in managing their heritage and in exercising free, prior and informed consent is a lost opportunity, not only for Indigenous communities, who should be shown this respect for their knowledge, but for heritage concerns in Australia as a whole. Indigenous knowledge is increasingly being recognised in environmental management, but there is much more work to be done in empowerment (Woodward et al. 2020). Heritage agencies A serious resourcing issue for heritage is the low and arguably inadequate number of expert staff in many heritage and protected areas agencies at all levels of government (Table 2) (see also McConnell 2021d, McConnell 2021c). Particular issues are the lack of natural and cultural values scientists in protected areas, and heritage professionals in heritage agencies and working at the local government level. In addition, several statutory advisory bodies have questionably large numbers of non-expert members. Although staffing levels are considered inadequate, where figures are provided, heritage agency staff numbers have increased slightly in the past 5 years or stayed approximately the same. Staff numbers are roughly proportional to the size of the state or territory, although the Northern Territory has a much lower staff level than other states with small populations (e.g. the Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania and South Australia). Heritage expert staffing of heritage agencies is around 80–100% of heritage agency staff, except for Tasmania, which is at 72%. Encouragingly, expert staff numbers have stayed approximately the same or increased in the past 5 years. In most cases, this is a proportionally greater increase than in heritage agency staff levels overall. In some states, the increase in expert staff has been significant. South Australia experienced a significant (175%) increase in historic heritage expert staff numbers between 2016 and 2019, but experienced a similar magnitude loss of Indigenous heritage agency staff (proportional to the decrease in agency staff overall). Given their role, Indigenous staff levels in Indigenous heritage agencies across Australia can be considered low in comparison to both the overall agency staff numbers and expert staff numbers based on the data provided, except in New South Wales. Many protected areas have insufficient on-ground staff to support routine heritage management tasks such as monitoring (e.g. Crossley 2009). The national and state and territory protected area agencies operate with 50–60% of the total agency staff on-ground in terrestrial protected areas. The 2 exceptions are the Northern Territory, which has 77% agency staff on-ground, and Western Australia, which has 30% agency staff on-ground (McConnell 2021d). For jurisdictions that provided data, the on-ground staff levels for marine protected areas are significantly lower, with the Northern Territory, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria having 4.5% or less on-ground staff compared with terrestrial agency on-ground staff (equating to 2% or less of total agency staff). No data were provided for New South Wales or Western Australia. Table 2 Heritage and protected area agency staffing, 2016–20 Type Agency FTE agency staff FTE heritage experts FTE Indigenous staff 2016 2020 2016 2020 2016 2020 Heritage agencies Australian Government (DAWE Heritage Branch) 36 42.9 n.d. n.d. n.d. n.d. Australian Government (responsibility under UCH Act 2018) (36) (42.9) 2 1.5 – – ACT (IH + HH + NH) 11.34 14 n.d. 14 1 1 NT (IH + HH + NH) 6 6 5 5 1 0 NT (UCH) 6 6 0.5 0.5 – – NSW (IH + HH) 134.7 116.8 53 73 32 31 NSW (UCH) (134.7) (116.8) 2 2 – – Qld (IH) 12 12 n.d. n.d. 2 2 Qld (HH) n.d.a 2,993a n.d. 31 n.d. n.d. Qld (UCH) (n.d.)a (–2,993)a 1.5 2 – – SA (IH) 47 28 14 7.6 8 7 SA (HH) 1,610a 1,477a 9 16 n.d. n.d. SA (UCH) (1,610)a (1,477)a 2 1 – – Tasmania (IH) n.d. n.d. 7 13 3 7 Tasmania (HH) 13.57 14.61 9.77 10.81 0 0 Tasmania (UCH) 297 370 0.25 0.25 – – Victoria (IH) n.d. n.d. 21 26 n.d. n.d. Victoria (HH) 36 40 30 33 n.d. n.d. Victoria (UCH) n.d. 46 2 2 – – WA (HH + IH) n/a n.d. n/a 40 n/a 25 WA (UCH) 186.77 204.63 9.8 6.8 – – Protected area agencies Australian Government (DAWE) (TPA) 317.8 321 63.7 70.6 43.5 58.6 Australian Government (DAWE) (MPA) (–317.8) (–321) 0 0 (–43.5) (–58.6) ACT (TPA) 177 202 6 8 n.d. n.d. NT (TPA) 287.6 253 1 0 40.1 40.3 NT (MPA) (–287.6) –253 0 0 1 2 NSW (TPA) 1,616 1,675 17 17 182 194 NSW (MPA) n.d. n.d. n.d. n.d. 0 4 Qld (TPA) 1,054 1,431 2 2 30 34 Qld (MPA) (–1,054) (–1,431) n.d. n.d. 6 13 SA (TPA) 1,610a 1,477a 252.8a 193.41a 42a 48a SA (MPA) (–1,610)a (–1,477)a 6.6 3.8 0 0 Tasmania (TPA) 297 370 2 1 20 36 Tasmania (MPA) (–297) (–370) 4 5 0 0 Victoria (TPA) 1,037 1,299 21.8 45.44 45.39 59.83 Victoria (MPA) (–1,037) –1,299 2 2 0 0 WA (TPA) 1,412 1,466 86.42 104.81 44.55 59.89 WA (MPA) (–1,412) (–1,466) 9 10 n.d. n.d. – = not requested; ACT = Australian Capital Territory; DAWE = Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment; FTE = full-time equivalent; HH = HH = historic heritage; IH = Indigenous heritage; MPA = marine protected area; n/a = not available; n.d. = no data; NH = natural heritage (including geoheritage); NSW = New South Wales; NT = Northern Territory; Qld = Queensland; SA = South Australia; TPA = terrestrial protected area; UCH = underwater cultural heritage; UCH Act 2018 = Underwater Cultural Heritage Act 2018; WA = Western Australia Departmental staff numbers, not agency staff numbers. Notes: Figures are end of financial year figures. Figures in brackets are agency or department figures already reported (in line above) and indicate that the heritage being reported is managed by the same agency or department. FTE staff figures are for employees and in general exclude casuals, contractors, consultants and board members. No data were requested on Indigenous FTE staff in relation to UCH, so these categories have been omitted. As the WA Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage did not exist until 2017, it has not been possible to obtain figures for 2016. The NSW marine protected area data are draft data and may not be 100% accurate. For Qld, there is likely to be some overlap of staffing numbers in relation to protected area staff, given that joint arrangements are in place between the state and the Australian Government for management of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The SA and WA protected area staff numbers have been rounded to whole numbers. In relation to heritage in both the ACT and Qld, 1 Indigenous heritage staff position was vacant at the time the data were provided. In relation to protected area management, the number of science/heritage expert staff provided does not necessarily reflect the science/heritage expert staff who work on, or are available to work on, protected area conservation. For NSW, scientific expertise sits within the broader department, and the figures provided are for the National Parks and Wildlife Service heritage expert staff only. For Tasmania, the Parks and Wildlife Service draws on the scientific expertise in the parent department, the Department of Primary Industries, Water and the Environment (which in 2016 had 120 FTE scientific staff (and 22 FTE Indigenous staff), and in 2020 had 100 FTE scientific staff (and 51 FTE Indigenous staff). For SA, all staffing figures provided are for the Department of Environment and Water, and not the SA National Parks and Wildlife Service. Parks Victoria provided the following science/heritage expert staff breakdown: 8 Aboriginal heritage FTEs, 1.8 historic heritage FTEs and 12 environmental scientist FTEs at June 2016, and 22.64 Aboriginal heritage FTEs, 2.8 historic heritage FTEs and 20 environmental scientist FTEs at June 2016. In relation to terrestrial protected areas, the WA FTE staff agency figures do not include the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority, or the Rottnest Island Authority; and the SA staff agency 2020 figure does not include botanic gardens staff at 3 sites in SA (although these staff were included in the previous state of the environment report). Source: McConnell (2021d) Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Linkedin Share this link Lack of relevant expertise and skills is a particular issue for small-to-medium local government bodies with limited resources. In some jurisdictions (e.g. New South Wales, Victoria), a Heritage Advisor system has been established to bring in expertise on an as-needed basis. Advisory councils in general are undervalued and undersupported. For example, the Australian World Heritage Indigenous Network has not met for several years, despite Indigenous and Australian World Heritage Advisory Committee support for it to be reinvigorated (Lin et al. 2021a, McConnell 2021b), during the last term of the Australian Heritage Council, the second historic heritage position remained vacant. Conservation skills There has been a growing need for a greater traditional skills base to support historic heritage conservation (Mackay 2016a). To meet this demand, there has been a slow growth in largely commercial, short, traditional trade courses in various parts of Australia (A McConnell, pers. obsv.). There are no data on how well these courses are meeting demand. Skills accreditation for historic heritage is an emerging issue – the complex mix of skills used in heritage conservation has discouraged the development of heritage accreditation. As a result, there is no existing formal industry accreditation process for heritage at either the professional or trade level. With an increasing interest in traditional skills training, informal accreditations are being developed. This is an area that requires review and, potentially, improved regulation and oversight. Private owners and volunteers Private owners and volunteers make an extremely large in-kind contribution to conserving Australia’s heritage, although this is largely unmeasured. This provides much-needed capacity in various areas. Private owners include those that own listed heritage places or significant object collections, or have entered into arrangements to protect areas of natural heritage that they own (see the Land chapter). Private ownership generally provides significant benefits by conserving and maintaining heritage. Owners usually incur some costs in their ownership, including the original cost of the property, maintenance requirements and the cost of lost opportunities such as development. In relation to listed or potentially listable heritage, private heritage owners receive limited assistance, although this varies between jurisdictions (McConnell 2021d, McConnell 2021c). Current funding continues to be focused on listed (primarily state heritage register) places, and on conservation works to these places, although there are some exceptions (see Current government funding). The funding that is available needs to be expanded to other important heritage conservation actions, and to be increased to meet the increasing needs. Volunteers contribute in a wide range of ways, including through surveys and recording, archaeological excavation, invasive species control, land restoration, animal care and rehabilitation, presentations and guiding, or running promotional or celebration events. There is a high level of volunteering in the heritage area, and citizen science is an emerging area with strong uptake, primarily in natural values management in protected areas and underwater cultural heritage research (McConnell 2021d). Volunteer capacity, however, is not unlimited, and therefore needs to be managed strategically. Also, volunteers cannot replace the need for heritage experts. Other important considerations in using volunteers for heritage management are ensuring adequate expert supervision and adequate volunteer training.