Excavation permit s140

If you are going to disturb or excavate land in NSW that is likely to contain archaeological relics of State heritage significance or have a major impact on relics of local heritage significance, you will need to apply for approval.

A 'relic' means any deposits, artefact, object or material evidence that:

  • relates to the settlement of the area that comprises New South Wales, not being Aboriginal settlement, and
  • is of local or state significance.

Archaeological relics are protected under the Heritage Act 1977.  There are penalties under the Heritage Act 1977 for failing to obtain a heritage approval, excavation permit or comply with a relevant exception, such as a fine of up to $1.1 million, or in serious cases, imprisonment for up to 6 months. It is therefore important to ensure you understand the requirements that apply.

You must obtain approval before commencing excavation, unless an exception applies. Retrospective permits will not be issued.

For items listed on the State Heritage Register, a section 60 works approval is required. Refer to the Section 60 Fact Sheet for more information.  

Apply for a section 140 Excavation permit 

Launch the HMS to start your online application

Excavation Permits are granted under section 141 of the Heritage Act 1977.