Wednesday, April 26, 2017

South Australia's Historic Shipwrecks Act & Regulations Have Been Amended

The “Historic Shipwrecks Act 1981” and the Regulations to the Act (“Historic Shipwrecks Regulations 2014”) have been amended now and the amendments came in to force on 1st
May. Both the Act and the Regulations can be viewed at . The
penalty fees have been increased and expiation fees can now be received for alleged
offences. There are also several minor administrative amendments. According to The
Advertiser of 27th April, “The Act currently protects 270 historic wrecks”. According
“The Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976 protects historic wrecks and associated relics, that are
more than 75 years old and in Commonwealth waters, extending from below the low water
mark to the edge of the continental shelf. Each of the States and the Northern Territory has complementary legislation, which protects historic shipwrecks in State waters, such as bays,
harbours and rivers. The Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts can also make
a declaration to protect any historically significant wrecks or articles and relics which are
less than 75 years old.” The Advertiser of 27th April goes on to say that “Anyone found
guilty of illegally taking or possessing unregistered relics from SA waters could face fines
three times the original (penalty)”. The amendment to the Act actually sees the maximum
penalty if $5000 increase to $20,000 (4 times the original). The expiation fee for minor
offences is $750. Inspectors now have increased powers.

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