8 March

During preparation of the new Heritage Act 2017, Heritage Victoria consulted the Prospectors and Miners Association of Victoria. As a result, and to support the activities of prospectors, the legislation was drafted to accommodate their needs.

The Act allows the collection of an individual artefact that is not part of an archaeological site.

Strong protections for archaeological sites remain in the current Act.

Prospectors and collectors should be aware that:

  • It is not an offence to search for and collect an individual artefact if it is not part of an archaeological site.
  • Archaeological sites can be identified by the presence of building ruins and remains of other structures, scatters of artefacts (ceramic, glass, metal and animal bone) and other traces of former activities.
  • You must get the approval of the landowner to access private land and to remove artefacts. You must get the approval of the land manager to remove artefacts from Crown land.
  • It is an offence to disturb an archaeological site. This includes the removal of an artefact from a site, and penalties apply. This relates to all archaeological sites, not only sites recorded in heritage listings.

More information can be found on the Heritage Victoria website.

Image shows an archaeology site in Victoria. Heritage Victoria, 2023. Source: Source: Heritage Victoria, 2023

Page last updated: 08/03/24