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Heritage Act

The Heritage Act commenced on 1 October 2012. It replaced the old Heritage Conservation Act, which had been in operation since 1991.

The Act:

  • Establishes the Heritage Council (consisting of eleven members);
  • Establishes the NT Heritage Register;
  • Sets the process by which places become heritage places;
  • Allows for interim protection of places;
  • Sets out the process for getting permission to do work to heritage places; and
  • Allows for fines and imprisonment for offences against the Act.

The Act is quite broad in its scope, and protects both natural and cultural heritage.

Cultural heritage is ‘man-made’ heritage. Cultural heritage places protected by the Act include buildings, and a wide range of other structures and places associated with European settlement, including maritime heritage. In addition, all Aboriginal and Macassan archaeological sites are automatically protected – see Indigenous Heritage.

The Heritage Act can also be used to protect portable objects.

View the Whats Changed document to see more detail on how the Heritage Act differs from the old Heritage Conservation Act.