Canberra's Aboriginal Tent Embassy won't be given extra protection through inclusion on the ACT Heritage Register.
Already included on the Commonwealth Heritage List as part of the Old Parliament House precinct, the Tent Embassy was rejected for provisional registration by the ACT Heritage Council this week.
The decision was announced as part of the council's latest registration process, which also considered public housing estates and historic homesteads.
The area, first established in 1972 as an informal Aboriginal embassy and protest site, has been recognised as a focal point of the campaign for land rights and equality for Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The embassy was re-established in 1992. It is considered to be the longest continuous unanswered protest camp in the world.
Announcing its decision not to list the area between King George Terrace and King Edward Terrace, the Heritage Council said listing the embassy would "provide no additional legal protection to the place, nor would it provide additional information to the public about the heritage of the ACT."
The parliamentary triangle, which includes Old Parliament House and the embassy site, is controlled by the National Capital Authority.
ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body chairman Rod Little criticised the decision on Friday.
Speaking in a personal capacity, he said entry on the ACT Heritage Register could have provided further symbolic recognition for the area.
"Quite often I don't believe that Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage is generally recognised by the broader public," Mr Little said.
"I would think there would be some recognition, because it is within the jurisdiction."
"I think the purpose of the embassy and that movement, it is about recognition and about fundamental rights. What are you going to do? If you had the Tent Embassy at Gungahlin or Oaks Estate, would it then be registered?"
Mr Little said a symbolic recognition could show links between the embassy's aims and the ACT's own democracy.
"If you make the connections to the history of this country, and the ACT achieving self-government, it has synergies with the territory pursuing independence and exercising rights," he said.
"As part of the ACT history, even a symbolic recognition would be ideal."
The embassy began with four activists sitting under a beach umbrella at 1am on Australia Day 1972, standing until July. It was reinstated during the Whitlam government but was later moved.
The Howard government declined to include the embassy on the Commonwealth Heritage List in 2005. A sacred fire at the site has reportedly been kept alight since 1998.
The council gave provisional registration to Rock Valley and Nil Desperandum historic homesteads at Paddys River.
Newly appointed chair David Flannery said the registrations showed the ongoing work in identifying important heritage places and objects in the territory.
Rock Valley homestead and its surrounds date from 1895 and provide an example of the common building style adopted by early European settlers and an example of the pisé construction method.
"The homestead is an excellent interpretive site following its survival after Canberra bushfires of 2003, and subsequent restoration works," Mr Flannery said.
"Few examples of pisé buildings from the 19th and early 20th centuries have survived in the ACT. As such, the homestead is rare and endangered."
The council also decided not to list the Allawah and Bega Courts public housing in central Canberra, the Red Hill Public Housing Precinct.
Provisional registration was given to the Yarralumla Woolshed and Outbuildings in Weston Creek. The 1904 building was designed by Frederick Campbell and was found to meet three heritage criteria, including ones for cultural and natural history and for special associations with people or groups.