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Topics > Heritage > Conserving our heritage

Protection and legislation

Our heritage is made up of aspects of the past and present that we want to share with future generations. This can include:

  • Archaeological sites and artefacts
  • caves, mines, volcanic features, geological sites and fossils
  • historical buildings and monuments
  • relics of agricultural and industrial heritage
  • shipwreckslighthouses and whaling stations
  • wilderness, coastlines and threatened species

The different types of heritage are managed by various government agencies, local councils, peak bodies and legislation.

DEW and the South Australian Heritage Council are responsible for protecting and conserving built, maritime and intangible heritage, non-Aboriginal cultural heritage of significance to South Australia, under the following legislation: Heritage Places Act 1993; Development Act 1993 (State); Historic Shipwrecks Act 1981 (State); Underwater Cultural Heritage Act 2018 (Commonwealth).

Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation Division of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet manages Aboriginal heritage under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988.

The South Australian Native Vegetation Council and the Native Vegetation Management Unit in DEW manage Native Vegetation Heritage Agreements under the Native Vegetation Act 1991. For information on Heritage Agreements to conserve native vegetation on properties, please contact the Native Vegetation Management Unit on (08) 8303 9777 or email:

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