Whitehorse City Council

Protecting Heritage Buildings

Heritage buildings, areas, landscapes and other places of heritage value provide a window to the past and to the origins of our communities.

Heritage places add character, appeal and interest to our cities, towns and countryside. Respect for our cultural heritage involves retaining and managing places that have importance to us as a community.

Identifying and listing places on heritage registers or lists is the first step in protecting and managing heritage places.

Heritage Assistance Fund

Council has a keen interest in protecting its history and recognises that maintaining heritage can sometimes be a difficult and expensive task. The Whitehorse Heritage Assistance Fund provides financial support to individuals, community groups and organisations for the purposes of improving the condition and appearance of heritage buildings. Such works might include repairing leadlight windows, painting, replacing guttering, rotted door frames, verandahs or front steps.

The Fund has operated for more than 10 years and has assisted over 250 heritage properties.

All owners or occupiers of eligible buildings covered by a Heritage Overlay in Whitehorse will receive information in the mail about the Fund. Each heritage grant may fund up to 100 per cent of the total project cost. The maximum grant is $2,000 and a total of $40,000 will be available for this year’s fund.

Further information about the Fund, including the application form can be found at the following link:

Identifying and Listing Heritage Places

Listing these places on statutory heritage registers provides a legal framework for managing the approval of major changes so that heritage significance is retained and not diminished.

In Victoria, there are three different types of statutory listing: 

  • National Heritage List administered by the Australian Heritage Council
  • Victorian Heritage Register administered by the Victorian Heritage Council
  • Heritage Overlays administered by Local Government

Various steps need to be taken before a place is entered on these lists and specific criteria must be met. The nomination process requires considerable preparation and research.

A place on the National Heritage List must be of outstanding significance to Australia, with only 29 places listed to date. Very high standards have been set for inclusion with examples of sites on this list including the Sydney Opera House, the Royal Exhibition Building, the Australian War Memorial and Port Arthur.

Places in the Victorian Heritage Register are considered to have statewide cultural heritage significance. Six places within the City of Whitehorse are included on the Victorian Heritage Register:

  • The Box Hill Cemetery Columbarium and Myer Memorial, Box Hill
  • Wattle Park, Burwood
  • The Wunderlich/Monier Terracotta Roof Tiles Complex, Mitcham
  • The former Wesleyan Chapel, Box Hill North
  • The former Burwood School, Burwood
  • The former Standard Brickworks, Box Hill
  • The former Chapel of St Joseph, Mont Albert North
  • The former ‘Christ Church’ Anglican Church, Mitcham
  • Willis Pipe Organ, Wesley Uniting Church, Station St, Box Hill
  • Stone Pipe Organ, The Avenue Uniting Church, Blackburn Rd, Blackburn

In contrast, 790 heritage places are protected by Heritage Overlays within the municipality. Heritage Overlays are contained within local Council Planning Schemes and assist in protecting the heritage of a municipality.

In addition to statutory lists, heritage registers are also compiled by organisations such as the National Trust and the Art Deco Society. Such community registers provide information on heritage significance, but they do not provide legal protection.

You can download the precinct guidelines for the Churchill, Mont Albert, Combarton and Black's Estate Residential Precincts, as well as development guidelines for individually listed buildings by clicking on the following links:

To find out more, visit www.deh.gov.au/heritage or www.heritage.vic.gov.au