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Wollongong City Council

Council's Heritage Work

Wollongong City Council respects and acknowledges those who came before us, the Traditional Custodians of the land on which our City is built, and all of those who have contributed to the City of Wollongong.

We work with our community to identify, conserve, record and celebrate our city's heritage, so it can be appreciated today and by future generations. This includes heritage places, objects, records, stories and memorials.

Our Heritage Strategy PDF, 9692.98 KB gives an overview of Council’s approach to managing heritage in Wollongong.

This group provides advice to Council about activities that protect and promote Wollongong’s heritage.

Read more on the Wollongong Heritage Reference Group page.

If you’re doing work on a heritage property, different rules may apply to make sure its heritage value is protected.

You can get advice from our planning and heritage experts to help you through the process of developing a heritage property. See our Development Advice page or call us on (02) 4227 7111 for more information.

Exemption for minor and maintenance works

Any minor works or maintenance to a heritage item that changes the external appearance of the building and / or landscape elements will require a Heritage Exemption. This may also apply to properties located within a Heritage Conservation Area.

This Exemption is to be issued by a Council Heritage Officer before any works can begin.

Examples of maintenance works that require an Exemption include:

  • Repainting (excluding unpainted tiled, stone, brick or slate surfaces)
  • Repairs to cladding or verandah elements or replacement where necessary in a like for like manner
  • Repointing of brickwork or stone
  • Roof and gutter works
  • Repair to chimneys and other architectural features based on documentary evidence
  • Repairs to original windows and replacement of aluminium doors and windows with traditional materials
  • Installation of water tanks and solar panels
  • Fencing repairs or replacement in traditional styles

Types of works that will not be considered for an Exemption include:

  • Construction of carports, large sheds and garages
  • Demolition or replacement of significant elements that can be repaired
  • Replacement of significant windows and doors with aluminium framed elements
  • Replacement of original fences with Colorbond fencing or construction of retaining walls.

How to apply for a Heritage Exemption

  1. Please fill out the Minor Works Heritage Exemption Form DOCX, 37.54 KB to the best of your ability.
  2. Use the enquiry form at the bottom of this page to send your application to Council’s Heritage Staff. Make sure you attach the completed form.

Please note, you may be asked to provide additional information for your application.

If your application is approved, the exemption will be emailed to you. Do not start works until you receive this approval.

We encourage you to seek heritage advice on any proposed works before you apply for an exemption. To speak to a heritage expert, please call 4227 7111.

If you are planning to repaint your Heritage listed property or building located within a Heritage Conservation Area, or you want to change the roofing material or colour, you will need to have your colour scheme approved by Council's Heritage Staff before you begin work.

Please read the Heritage Repainting and Colour Scheme Guidelines PDF, 1412.71 KB then use the button at the bottom of this page or call (02) 4227 7111 to discuss your proposed colour scheme and apply for a minor works exemption.

People who own or manage heritage properties can get support to help look after them.

Wollongong Heritage Fund

Each year, owners of heritage properties listed in our Local Environmental Plan can apply for support to repair and maintain their properties, or to prepare plans and reports for future work.

Read more on our Heritage Grants page.

Free advice

Our heritage staff can provide advice to owners, managers and potential buyers of heritage properties. This advice could cover future development options, maintenance works and other relevant issues.

If your heritage project is more complex, we can also arrange a formal pre-lodgement meeting free of charge.

Use the enquiry form at the bottom of this page or call (02) 4227 7111 to get advice about a heritage property.

Development fees and charges

If your heritage property is listed in our Local Environmental Plan, you may be able to apply for a refund of any Development Application and Construction Certificate fees. To be eligible, projects must not involve demolishing or removing any heritage items, and must be sympathetic to the property’s heritage.

Use the enquiry form at the bottom of this page or call (02) 4227 7111 to request a refund.

Land rates and taxes

The official value of a piece of land can be affected by whether or not it is recognised as having heritage value.  This is important because the land value can affect any land taxes and Council rates that might apply.

If your property is listed as a heritage item on our Local Environmental Plan or the State Heritage Register, your Notice of Valuation from the NSW Valuer General should note that the land is 'heritage restricted'.  This means that the valuation of your land takes into consideration the impact of the heritage listing.

If your Notice of Valuation doesn't show a heritage restriction and you think it should, you can contact the NSW Valuer General to ask for a review.

For more details, see the NSW State Government Valuer General website.

Council directly looks after many properties and items across our city that have heritage significance. This includes Aboriginal heritage sites, parks and reserves, war memorials, pools, cemeteries, buildings and trees.

Some of the significant sites we look after that have State-level heritage significance include:

  • North Beach Bathers Pavilion and Kiosk
  • Gleniffer Brae at Wollongong Botanic Garden
  • Hill 60, Port Kembla

We also look after the Waterfall General (Garawarra) Cemetery, which was used in the first half of the 20th century as a burial site for over 2000 tuberculosis patients.

If you think there's a site in the Wollongong Local Government Area that has heritage value, you can nominate it for a local heritage listing. Anyone can make a nomination, including individuals, property owners, community groups and government departments.

Follow the steps below to nominate a site to be considered for the local Heritage Schedule.

  1. Read the Heritage Nomination Guidelines PDF, 671.83 KB
  2. Fill out the Nomination Form DOCX, 41.59 KB to the best of your ability
  3. Contact us using the enquiry form at the bottom of this page, and attach the completed nomination form.

Please note, making a nomination does not guarantee that Council will support your request, or that the item will be included on the Heritage Schedule.

The heritage nomination process can take a long time; usually it involves extensive research and assessment by Council's heritage staff, a Planning Proposal process, multiple reports to Council, plus public exhibitions and notifications.

When looking at nominations, we give priority to items that:

  • are likely to have local heritage significance
  • are part of a class or type of items that is not well represented on the Heritage Schedule
  • have the support of the owner for the nomination
  • are at risk or under threat.

We often run talks, tours and other events inspired by local history. Search our events calendar for heritage related activities you can be part of.

Make a heritage enquiry

Use the button below or call us on (02) 4227 7111.