Changes to Australia’s heritage protection law

posted in: Cultural Heritage | 0

Australia’s new Underwater Cultural Heritage Act 2018 (Underwater Heritage Act) will come into force on 1 July 2019 and will replace the current Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976 (Historic Shipwrecks Act).

The Underwater Heritage Act continues the protection of shipwrecks and adds protection for sunken aircraft and other types of underwater heritage.

Anyone involved in marine activities, planning or the possession of underwater artefacts could be affected and may need to undertake action to be compliant with the legislation.

Individuals or businesses who collect or sell protected shipwreck coins need to immediately ensure that all these coins have been correctly notified under the existing Historic Shipwrecks Act by the 1 July 2019, so they will be eligible for permits under the new Underwater Heritage Act.

The documents linked below contain guidance on how you can meet you’re legal responsibilities.  They also contain links to further information and how to seek specialist advice.



How to notify your possession underwater heritage artefacts