State Heritage Assessment of Park Lands

The Park Lands received National Heritage Listing in 2008 so it was a no-brainer (back in 2009) that we would ask the State Heritage Council to consider whether SA should follow the Federal Government's lead and declare that the Park Lands are worthy of "heritage" recognition.

State (and World) Heritage listing of the Park Lands is among APPA's key 'Objectives' in our Constitution.

We're not sure why it took so long, but a State "heritage assessment" of the Adelaide Park Lands and City Squares finally began in April 2017.  A prolonged period of public consultation occurred from June to September 2017.

The consultant firm that was appointed to conduct the official "assessment" of the Park Lands was also acting for clients who (in 2017) were seeking approval to build major sports facilities on the Park Lands. Despite our concerns about a possible conflict of interest, the consultant continued in the role and delivered its report to the Heritage Council in mid-2018.

The report, dated May 2018, was not released publicly until after it had been considered by the State Heritage Council on 6 December 2018. The assessment is a comprehensive 91-page document that examines the history, features, and values of the Park Lands.  Not surprisingly, the assessment found that the Park Lands do meet most of the legal criteria for State Heritage recognition. The full assessment can be downloaded as a PDF file from this location:
NB:  (it is a large file: 48 Mb)

After considering the assessment the State Heritage Council:  

"agreed to write to Minister for Environment and Water recommending the Adelaide Park Lands, Squares and City Layout be recommended to the Minister for Planning for State Heritage Area consideration."


There is a distinction in law between a heritage "place" and a heritage "area".

The Park Lands are more than just a single place, so the determination was made to recommend them as a heritage "area".    However this also constrains what the Heritage Council can do.  It has fewer powers over "heritage areas" than it does over "heritage places".

Under the provisions of the Heritage Places Act 1993, the Heritage Council can only identify areas of State heritage significance and promote the establishment of State Heritage Areas, currently under the provisions of the Development Act 1993

In practice this means that if the Heritage Council determines that an area be recognised as a State Heritage Area, as it has in the case of Adelaide Park Lands, Squares and City Layout, it needs to ask the Minister for the Heritage Places Act (David Spiers, MP) to request the Planning Minister (Stephan Knoll MP) to amend the relevant Development Plan to achieve this outcome.

On 28 December 2018, APPA wrote to both Ministers to urge that this be done. You can read our

We have received a reply from Minister Knoll, dated 17 April 2019