Testing Program at Robin Thomas Reserve Parramatta v2. Credit Felicity Barry

Testing Program at Robin Thomas Reserve Parramatta. Credit: Felicity Barry Heritage NSW

8. Excavation


This exemption is for minor excavation or disturbance of land without removal of State significant relics.

Examples of typical minor excavation or disturbance activities/works include excavation:

  • of an existing service trench to inspect, maintain or repair underground services
  • to access and repair building foundations
  • as part of insect or vermin eradication.

If substantial intact archaeological relics of State or local significance or any Aboriginal objects are discovered during excavation, activities/works must stop, and Heritage NSW notified.

Standard Exemption 8: Excavation

General conditions  apply to the use of all Standard Exemptions and must be complied with. 

The following specified activities/works to an item do not require approval under subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act 1977 if the specified activities/works are undertaken in accordance with each of the relevant standards prescribed below.

Specified activities/works:

  1. Excavation or disturbance of land that is:
    1. for the purpose of exposing underground utility services infrastructure which occurs within an existing service trench, or
    2. to carry out inspections or emergency maintenance or repair on underground utility services, or
    3. to maintain, repair, or replace underground utility services to buildings, or
    4. to maintain or repair the foundations of an existing building, or
    5. to expose survey marks, or
    6. associated with feral animal/insect eradication.
  2. Removing contaminated soils. 

Relevant standards:

c. Activities/works must not disturb or remove any relics.

d. Excavation must not compromise the structural integrity of any heritage structure or significant landscape elements.

e. Activities/works must not affect archaeological evidence, for example the archaeology of foundation trench deposits from the time of original construction.

f. If an environmental assessment is required under Part 5 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW) in relation to (b) of the specified activities/works, the assessment must be undertaken prior to commencing any work to remove the contaminated soil.