There are three types of binding Heritage Agreements that can be entered into between a person who is responsible for a heritage item or place and the South Australian State Government.
Under the Heritage Places Act 1993 (SA), Heritage Agreements can, after consideration by the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation with the State Heritage Council, be made between the Minister and the owner of land constituting a registered place or State Heritage Area. The Minister responsible for the Native Vegetation Act 1991 (SA) may enter into a Heritage Agreement with the owner of land on which there is native vegetation.
The Minister responsible for the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988 (SA) may enter into a Heritage Agreement with the owner of the land on which an Aboriginal site, object or remains is situated. An Aboriginal site is one having significance according to Aboriginal tradition, archaeology, anthropology or history.
A Heritage Agreement can impose restrictions and duties on the owner of the item that is the subject of the agreement. These restrictions may include limiting the way the owner uses the item or property. The Agreement may also require the owner either to carry out work for the preservation or enhancement of the item or place, or to allow the work to be done. These restrictions and duties will also be binding on occupiers and all subsequent owners of the item or place and the Agreement is registered in the Lands Titles Registration Office or in the General Registry Office by the Registrar-General.
A person who enters into an Agreement may receive financial assistance and technical advice or assistance. Where the Agreement is made for the purpose of preserving or enhancing native vegetation it may release the owner from the duty to pay all, or part, of the rates and taxes (including council rates) relating to the item.
A Heritage Agreement can be varied or terminated by mutual consent between the parties to the Agreement or in any other manner or circumstances provided for in the Agreement. Where a party to a Heritage Agreement fails to comply with it or it appears they may fail to comply, any other party to the Agreement may apply to the Environment Resources and Development Court for an order securing compliance.