Our Heritage At Risk 2008

Region at Risk: Murray Darling Basin



 Media Release October 2008 

Trust News Article November 2008



State and Territory Heritage at Risk 2008




This Top Ten National Heritage at Risk and Region at Risk list represents a tiny sample of our heritage at risk throughout Australia. In July this year, each State and Territory Trust announced its Heritage at Risk list from over seventy nominations received from Trust conservation specialists, other heritage and community organisations and concerned individuals. Twenty-four places and moveable heritage from these At Risk lists were nominated to the National Top Ten.


The List includes natural, cultural, industrial and built heritage at risk from neglect, lack of funding, legislative failures or lack of enforcement, or inappropriate development. Once again, the Trust has also listed a region at risk: the Murray Darling Basin.


A disturbing concern is the number of repeat nominations from last year. However some of the places listed in 2007 have been saved- others unfortunately have been lost or suffered severe devaluation of heritage values.


Besides the threat of development, the most worrying trend emerging is deterioration/demolition by neglect, often leading to demolition on safety grounds or a place just falling to bits, and opening the way to new development. This can be attributed to several reasons, including lack of incentives for re-use and conservation.


The National Trust believes that for our heritage to be conserved, heritage places need to be seen as an asset, not a burden and that effective and worthwhile incentives need to be provided by all levels of government.  Education of the community about the value of heritage is also an essential part of changing negative perceptions of heritage.


The Our Heritage at Risk program is designed to raise awareness in the Australian community of the threats to our heritage and encourage all levels of government to conserve these places and collections for the future.