1.1 Background and purpose

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is the Commonwealth agency responsible for coastal aids to navigation (AtoN). AMSA’s network includes Cape St. Albans Lighthouse, built in 1908.

Section 341S of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act) requires AMSA to prepare a management plan for Cape St Albans Lighthouse that addresses the matters prescribed in Schedules 7A and 7B of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2000 (Cth) (EPBC Regulations). The principal features of this management plan are:

  • a description of the place, its heritage values, their condition and the method used to assess its significance
  • an administrative management framework
  • a description of any proposals for change
  • an array of conservation policies that protect and manage the place
  • an implementation plan 
  • ways the policies will be monitored and how the management plan will be reviewed.

AMSA has prepared this heritage management plan to guide the future conservation of the place. This plan provides the framework and basis for the conservation and best practice management of Cape St Albans Lighthouse in recognition of its heritage values. The policies in this plan indicate the objectives for identification, protection, conservation and presentation of the commonwealth heritage values of the place. Figure 2 shows the basic planning process applied.

Figure 2. Planning process applied for heritage management (Source: Australia ICOMOS, 1999)
Figure 2. Planning process applied for heritage management (Source: Australia ICOMOS, 1999)

1.2 Heritage management plan objectives

The objectives of this heritage management plan are to:

  • protect, conserve and manage the Commonwealth heritage values of the Cape St Albans Lighthouse.
  • interpret and promote the Commonwealth heritage values of the Cape St Albans Lighthouse.
  • manage use of the lighthouse; and 
  • use best practice standards, including ongoing technical and community input, and apply best available knowledge and expertise when considering actions likely to have a substantial impact on Commonwealth heritage values.

In undertaking these objectives, this plan aims to:

  • provide for the protection and conservation of the heritage values of the place while minimising any impacts on the environment by applying the relevant environmental management requirements in a manner consistent with Commonwealth heritage management principles.
  • take into account the significance of the region as a cultural landscape occupied by Aboriginal people over many thousands of years.
  • recognise that the site has been occupied by lease holders since the early 20th century.
  • encourage site use that is compatible with the historical fabric, infrastructure and general environment.
  • record and document maintenance works, and changes to the fabric in the Cape St Albans Lighthouse fabric register.

The organisational planning cycle and associated budgeting process is used to confirm requirements, allocate funding and manage delivery of maintenance activities. Detailed planning for the AtoN network is managed through our internal planning processes.

An interactive map showing many of AMSA’s heritage sites, including Cape St Albans Lighthouse, can be found at AMSA Heritage Lighthouses Interactive Map1.

1.3 Methodology

The methodology used in the preparation of this plan is consistent with the recommendations of The Burra Charter and with the requirements of Chapter 5, Part 15 Division 1A of the EPBC Act. In particular, the plan:

  • details the history of the site based on information sourced from archival research, expert knowledge, and documentary resources
  • provides the description of the site based on information sourced from site inspection reports and fabric registers
  • details the Commonwealth heritage criteria satisfied by Cape St Albans Lighthouse as set out by the EPBC Regulations.  

The criterion set out at Schedule 7A (h) (i-xiii) informed the development of the required policies for the management of the Cape St Albans Lighthouse, in conjunction with input from the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (Heritage Branch) on best practice management. 


In preparation of the plan, AMSA consulted with the Ramindjeri Heritage Association Inc. under direction from Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, SA Department of the Premier and Cabinet (AAR DPC). AMSA was provided with information on the history of the island and past and present associations held, and this was incorporated within the plan.  

The draft management plan will be advertised in accordance with the EPBC Regulations and the comments received will be incorporated into the final document. A developed draft will then be submitted to the Minister through the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (Heritage Branch) and in that process the Minister’s delegate will seek advice from the Australian Heritage Council. 

Future updates and amendments will be listed here.

1.4 Status

This draft plan will be adopted by AMSA in accordance with Schedule 7A (Management plans for Commonwealth Heritage places) and Schedule 7B (Commonwealth Heritage management principles) of the EPBC Regulations to guide the management of the place and for inclusion in the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments.

1.5 Authorship

This plan has been prepared by AMSA. At the initial time of publication, the Australian Maritime Systems Group (AMSG) is the contract maintenance provider for the Commonwealth Government’s AtoN network including Cape St Albans Lighthouse.

1.6 Acknowledgements

AMSA acknowledges the professional assistance of the AAR DPC, and the Ramindjeri Heritage Association Inc.

1.7 Language

For clarity and consistency, some words in this plan such as restoration, reconstruction and preservation, are used with the meanings defined in the Burra Charter2. (See ‘Appendix 1 Glossary of heritage conservation terms’). Also see ‘Appendix 2 Glossary of lighthouse terminology relevant to Cape St Albans’, which sets out the technical terminology used in this plan.

1.8 Previous reports

  • A Heritage Lighthouse Report was generated by Peter Marquis-Kyle in 2006 for AMSA.3
  • A Heritage Asset Condition Report (4th Revision) was generated by AMSG in 2020 for AMSA.4

1.9 Sources of information and images

This plan has used a number of sources of information. This includes the National Archives of Australia (NAA), the National Library of Australia (NLA) and AMSA’s heritage collection.


1  ‘AMSA Interactive heritage lighthouse map’, Australian Maritime Safety Authority

2 Australia ICOMOS, The Burra Charter: The Australia ICOMOS Charter for Places of Cultural Significance (Australia ICOMOS, 2013).

3 Peter Marquis-Kyle, Heritage Lighthouse Report: Cape St Albans (Australian Maritime Systems Group, 2006). 

4 Australian Maritime Systems Group, Cape St Albans Lighthouse: Heritage Asset Condition Report, 4th Revision (Australia Maritime Safety Authority, 2020).