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Important changes to Historic Shipwreck legislation

On 24 August 2018, the Australian Parliament passed the Underwater Cultural Heritage Act 2018 (Underwater Heritage Act) that will replace the Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976. The Underwater Heritage Act will commence on 1 July 2019 and will apply to all historic shipwrecks and sunken aircraft, their associated artefacts, as well as other declared underwater cultural heritage, located in Commonwealth or Australian waters.

Read more about the upcoming changes at the Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Energy website here.

Note: the changes will not apply to underwater cultural heritage in South Australian waters, which will continue to be administered under the South Australian Historic Shipwrecks Act 1981.