The Commonwealth Heritage List is a heritage register which lists places under the control of the Australian government, usually on land or in waters directly owned by the Crown (i.e., the Crown in right of the Commonwealth of Australia). Such places must have importance in relation to the natural, indigenous and historic heritage of Australia. The List was established under the Federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
Places protected under the Act include federally owned telegraph stations, defence sites, migration centres, customs houses, lighthouses, national institutions such as Parliament and High Court buildings, memorials, islands and marine areas.
In 2004, a new heritage management system was introduced by the Australian Government to protect Australiảs heritage places. Key elements are amendments to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cwth), which include explicit requirements for cultural heritage protection, the creation of an Australian National Heritage List and a Commonwealth Heritage List and the establishment of the Australian Heritage Council under the Australian Heritage Council Act 2003. The Register of the National Estate was retained but lost its statutory power.