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.
Apply for a section 140 Excavation permit
Excavation Permits are granted under section 141 of the Heritage Act 1977.