Since the 1940s, the Trust has led campaigns to protect significant heritage at risk, whether built, natural or cultural.

Since the 1940s, the Trust has initiated campaigns to protect significant built, natural and cultural heritage at risk from unsympathetic development.In the early years, before widespread community awareness of the value of heritage, campaigns were often taken to the streets to protect built and natural heritage alike from the ravages of development. We saved much, but grand houses were felled to become car parks, whole suburbs were razed to build roads, and many colonial and Victorian period buildings were demolished.Destruction of significant heritage still occurs and the Trust is prepared to act quickly when we are alerted to threats. Our role today is also to lobby and negotiate to ensure that developers and governments cannot sweep away irreplaceable heritage in the name of progress. At the same time, we seek to raise community awareness of what is at stake.

With the support of professionals concerned with all aspects of heritage conservation, architecture and planning, we support sympathetic reuse which recognises and integrates valued heritage. As an example, the National Trust’s Alternative Concepts for the proposed redevelopment of the 22 hectare Barangaroo site on Sydney’s Harbour, had suggested ways of enhancing the development by incorporating, rather than ignoring, the rich maritime, indigenous and environmental heritage of the site.

At a local level we work with communities to protect places that are important to their neighbourhoods. We examine and comment on the heritage impacts of inner city motorways and the impacts of coal mining on cultural landscapes, historic buildings and critical ecological systems.

Longstanding issues include the proposal to “move” the Ultimo Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta, and the protection of fragile ecosystems such as the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Heritage Listing? Can I paint my heritage property? Can I demolish a heritage item?

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Restoration Appeals

The National Trust can establish tax-deductible restoration appeals.

Restoration Appeals

National Trust Principles

View our list of ethical principles for heritage professionals

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Advocacy Campaigns

Protecting our Parks and Gardens

Protection of our Parks and Gardens   In 1976, the Trust recognised the important heritage of our parks and gardens and listed the Royal Botanic Gardens

2021 Review of the NSW Heritage Act

The National Trust is campaigning to ensure the current Heritage Act Review results in better heritage protection.

Independent Forum on the Heritage Act Review

In May 2021, the NSW government announced a major review of the Heritage Act, 1977. Here are the results!

Industrial Heritage – The Historical Importance of Sewerage Infrastructure

It is surprising to hear that anyone would have concerns about the heritage-listing of sewerage systems, thinking them “bizarre” and it does indicate that

Environment Panel Advisory Paper for the Greater Sydney Commission

These organisations appreciate the opportunity to be involved in helping articulate the community’s voice on the importance of the environment in metro and

Cliefden Caves

Cliefden Caves on the Belubula River near Canowindra are threatened by dam proposals.

Impact of Coal Mining

National Trust opposes coal mining proposals that threaten Landscape Conservation Areas and Listed buildings.

Call to action section

View all Campaigns

Explore all of our past and present advocacy campaigns