The protection of industrial movable cultural heritage and the role of volunteer organisations in Australia

Neil Meyers



This article focuses on issues related to the current legal situation of historic machinery and vehicles in Australia as well as the competencies, skills and commitment of persons (both professionals and amateurs, or volunteers) dealing with their protection. Australia’s listed industrial heritage is generally limited to industrial buildings, as most often production equipment has been scrapped or relocated. The author discusses the need for legislative reform to enable the listing and protection of historic machines in a similar way to the listing and protection of historic buildings, based on an assessment of their value and relationships with local communities. He also discusses the need for volunteer organizations dealing with big stuff to re-examine what they need to do to attract professionals (diversified in terms of profession, age, interests, etc.) and work with protection funding bodies to create funding structures that support multi-year industrial heritage preservation projects.

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