The Victorian Heritage Register is not the only form of heritage protection in Victoria. Places can also be included on the National Heritage List and the World Heritage List.

World and National Heritage sites are protected by law through the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

If a place is included in both the Victorian Heritage Register and the National or World Heritage List, applications to change these places may be assessed by Heritage Victoria through the Bilateral Agreement.

World Heritage sites in Victoria

World Heritage listed places have outstanding universal value. There are 20 World Heritage sites in Australia, with two in Victoria. These are:

Budj Bim is in the traditional Country of the Gunditjmara Aboriginal people and is one of the world’s most extensive and oldest aquaculture systems. The Budj Bim lava flows provide the basis for the complex system of channels, weirs and dams developed by the Gunditjmara in order to trap, store and harvest kooyang (short-finned eel – Anguilla australis). Visit the Budj Bim website for more information.

The Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens

The Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens is in Melbourne on the country of the Wurundjeri people, who maintain an ongoing connection to the site and surrounds. It is the only example of a nineteenth-century Palace of Industry from a world fair which is in its original garden setting. It is included in the Victorian Heritage Register and is protected by Commonwealth and State laws.

Find out about the committee that manages the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens.

Current Victorian World Heritage Bids

The Victorian Trades Hall and Victorian Goldfields are being progressed for potential World Heritage Listing.

Victorian Trades Hall

The Victorian Trades Hall was added to Australia’s National Heritage List in October 2023. Located in Melbourne’s CBD, it is the world’s oldest continually active union building and is home to generations of trade union history – from winning the 8-hour working day to leading campaigns on equal pay, conscription, and apartheid.

It is being considered for inclusion on the World Heritage list as part of an international bid. It achieved the first step towards this on 15 December 2023, when it was included in Australia’s World Heritage Tentative List.

Victorian Goldfields

The Victorian Goldfields was created by one of the world’s most significant goldrush events. From 1851, the Victorian goldrush drew people from around the world to Australia, creating the outstanding goldrush landscape that remains today in the central and eastern parts of Victoria.

Status of the Victorian Goldfields World Heritage bid

The first step in progressing the Victorian Goldfields for World Heritage Listing is seeking inclusion on Australia’s World Heritage Tentative List.
If the Victorian Goldfields is successfully included in Australia’s World Heritage Tentative List, it will mean the Australian Government considers it to be of potential Outstanding Universal Value and suitable for inscription on the World Heritage List.

Funding for the bid

In 2022 Regional Development Victoria provided $500,000 to the Victorian Goldfields Tourism Executive and the local government partnership, which matched funds of over $125,000 to deliver a draft Tentative Listing submission and a Sustainable Tourism Master Plan.
The Victorian Government granted $2 million to Heritage Victoria to progress World Heritage Listing over three years from 1 July 2023.

Next steps

The Victorian Government is seeking to include the Victorian Goldfields in Australia’s World Heritage Tentative List by 1 February 2025.  
Victorian Government departments and councils that own or manage land identified as forming part of the Tentative Listing submission are being informed and consulted as part of this process.

The next step will be to prepare a full nomination dossier and a management plan throughout 2024-25.

National Heritage sites in Victoria

National Heritage listed places have outstanding significance to the nation. There are 29 National Heritage sites in Victoria, including:

World and National Heritage sites are protected by law through the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

Page last updated: 03/05/24