The NSW Auditor-General report on the management of historic assets by NPWS 


On Conservation Management Plans(CMPs)

We received mixed reports about the usefulness of CMPs. While heritage assessment and planning is critical, and indeed a requirement for state significant heritage, there are concerns that CMPs do not always balance aspiration with the management reality of constrained resources, nor do they always provide sufficient guidance on the potential compatible uses for an asset.

On Performance:

While State of the Parks data is a source of qualitative information about park management and trends over time, it does not provide a robust assessment of the efficiency of the agency’s approach to historic heritage management. Despite the Office of Environment and Heritage’s asset strategy identifying historic heritage asset maintenance in the reserve system as a key management issue, it contains no specific asset or service performance measures for NPWS historic heritage.

The Office of Environment and Heritage (NPWS) should:
• by June 2015, fund historic heritage on the basis of statewide priorities via a rolling program to allow improved planning and more efficient resource utilisation
• by December 2015, have in place a more systematic and consistent approach to
− sympathetic reuse of heritage assets, where feasible
− partnerships with the private sector and the community for the management of
historic heritage, including low-impact sponsorship, where these are consistent with heritage values
• by July 2013, adopt a consistent, pragmatic and financially realistic approach to the retention of heritage values when undertaking works on historic heritage
• by December 2014, measure its performance in managing historic heritage, including the extent to which it is achieving its desired outcomes.