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Exploration and Mining Licences: Guidance Notes for the Aboriginal Heritage Act/Heritage Act

Requirements for the protection of sites under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 and the Heritage Act 1995

1. Section 45 of the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990, requires that a licensee must not do any work within 100 metres laterally, or within 100 metres below:

  • any land in respect of which an ongoing protection declaration is in force under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006; or
  • any Aboriginal place within the meaning of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 that is recorded in the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register under that Act.

A licensee may apply to the Deputy Director, Aboriginal Affairs Victoria for consent to do work within 100 metres laterally or 100 metres below an Aboriginal heritage place.

1.2 In order to protect registered sites and any unregistered relics which may be located within the proposed area to be worked, the following requirements apply:-

  • Tenure of this licence does not exempt the holder from the following provisions of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006:
  • Sections 27, 28 A person is guilty of an offence if the person knowingly does an act that harms, or is likely to harm, Aboriginal cultural heritage without an appropriate Cultural Heritage Permit in accordance with section 36 of the Act; and
  • Section 24(2) If a person discovers an Aboriginal place or object the person must report the discovery to the Secretary as soon as practicable unless, at the time of making the discovery, the person had reasonable cause to believe that the Register contained a record of the place or object.

Reports in compliance with section 24(2) should be submitted to the Deputy Director, Aboriginal Affairs Victoria, GPO Box 2392, Melbourne Vic 3001.

  • Section 45 of the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990, requires that a licensee must not do any work within 100 metres laterally, or within 100 metres below:


An archaeological site on the Heritage Inventory established under the Heritage Act 1995 or a place or object included in the Heritage Register established under the Heritage Act 1995

2.2 In order to protect registered historic sites and any unregistered historic relics which may be located within the proposed area to be worked, the following requirements apply:-

Tenure of this licence does not exempt the holder from the following provisions of the Heritage Act 1995:-

  • Section 127(1) - "A person must not knowingly or negligently deface or damage or otherwise interfere with an archaeological relic or carry out an act likely to endanger an archaeological relic except in accordance with a consent issued under section 129."; and
  • Section 132(1) - "A person who discovers an archaeological relic must as soon as practicable report the discovery to the Executive Director or an inspector unless he or she has reasonable cause to believe that the relic is recorded in the Heritage Register."; and
  • Section 132(2) If an archaeological relic is discovered in the course of any construction or excavation on any land, the person in charge of the construction or excavation must as soon as practicable report the discovery to the Executive Director.
Victorian Legislation Webpage Reports of historical relics should be submitted to the Executive Director, Heritage Victoria, Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning, 7/8 Nicholson St, East Melbourne 3002.

Note: These extracts maybe subject to change and you are advised to check the current legislation.

Victorian Legislation Webpage