An important legislative update for our clients operating in Victoria – are you aware of the recent changes to the Heritage Act?

After two years of community and industry consultation, the Victorian Government introduced the Heritage Act 2017 on 1 November. This Act replaced the Heritage Act 1995 and aims to better protect Victoria’s registered heritage assets, which include 2300 places and objects and 650 shipwrecks.

Key changes to the Act include:

  • Significantly increased penalties for developers who carry out unauthorised works to heritage places and objects
  • Streamlined enforcement tools and processes
  • Heritage Inventory will now only include archaeological sites over 75 years old, except in special circumstances
  • Updated fee structure for heritage consents
  • Broader suite of consent types
  • New definition for archaeological sites
  • Introduces mandatory recording of archaeological sites
  • Introduces a significance threshold to determine whether archaeological sites are Heritage Inventory
  • Introduces a mandatory reporting requirement.

The Victorian State Government’s Heritage Act 2017 can be viewed here.

The cultural heritage team at Biosis will continue to work closely with our clients to explain the changes and how they may impact on projects.

If you would like to speak with one of our cultural heritage experts about the recent legislative changes, please contact us at our Melbourne head office on 03 8686 4800 or