This page provides advice on mandatory requirements and relevant forms and guidelines relating to the reporting of archaeological sites, and the lodging of Consent Applications.

The Heritage Act 2017 protects all significant archaeological sites – regardless of ownership. Before beginning any works it the responsibility of the property owner and/or developer to:

  • find out if a property might be listed as an archaeological site; and
  • obtain the approval of the Executive Director, Heritage Victoria to undertake works..

Activities such as digging for bottles, coins or other artefacts that involve the disturbance of archaeological sites may be in breach of the Heritage Act 2017, and penalties may apply.

Prior to works or development of a site

It is highly recommended that a Heritage Certificate be obtained from Heritage Victoria during the early phases of planning for site works.  The certificate will list any Heritage Inventory sites within the property.

If you are going to disturb a site, Heritage Victoria may require a program of archaeological investigation to take place first.

The consultant and contractor directory lists archaeologists who are qualified to conduct archaeological investigations. This includes due diligence reports, completing Consent Applications, excavating, recording and reporting.

More information

Heritage Victoria’s Archaeology team can be contacted at archaeology.admin@delwp.vic.gov.au or 03 9938 6894.

Recording and reporting a historical archaeological site

The Heritage Act 2017 requires the mandatory reporting of any archaeological site that is identified. Heritage Victoria has prepared guidelines and policy to assist qualified archaeologists with conducting surveys, producing reports, and recording and reporting archaeological sites.

If an archaeological site is discovered in the course of any construction or excavation, the person in charge of the works must report the discovery to Heritage Victoria as soon as practicable.

Heritage Inventory Site Card

A Heritage Inventory Site Card must be completed and submitted to Heritage Victoria within 30 days of discovering a archaeological site as part of an investigation or survey. This includes a discovery during the course of a survey conducted under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006.

Sites of low archaeological value

Sites of low archaeological value are not included in the Heritage Inventory. Heritage Victoria has developed a policy to address the determination of low archaeological value.

Consent to Uncover, Excavate, or Damage

Consents for archaeological investigations are only issued to qualified historical archaeologists. If you plan to damage or excavate a historical archaeological site you will need to employ an archaeologist to conduct or monitor works that may affect the site.

An application must be submitted to, and approved by, the Executive Director of Heritage Victoria prior to any disturbance of a historical archaeological site. The application below can be used for Consents under the Heritage Act 2017. An application must be completed in accordance with the Guidelines for Investigating Historical Archaeological Artefacts and Sites.

Consent application fees

The Consent Application Fee Schedule provides details on which class the proposed works fall under and how to make a payment. Payment can be made by BPay, and must be made when lodging a Consent Application.

Guidelines for Investigating Historical Archaeological Artefacts and Sites

These guidelines have been developed to assist archaeological consultants investigating a site (including monitoring). This includes recording a site, cataloguing artefacts, conserving artefacts, and site management recommendations.

Heritage Victoria's Cataloguing Manual

Archaeologists must complete this template for all archaeological collections which are going to be deposited with Heritage Victoria. The Cataloguing Manual below was developed to assist archaeological consultants complete the Artefact Cataloguing Template.

Heritage Victoria's Artefact Cataloguing Template & Manual

Archaeologists must complete this template for all archaeological collections which are going to be deposited with Heritage Victoria. The Cataloguing Manual below was developed to assist archaeological consultants complete the Artefact Cataloguing Template.

Obtaining a Heritage Act Consent Guide

This guide has been developed to assist individuals or groups who are planning works that may affect a historical archaeological site. The information is designed to assist decision-making, compliance and successful project completion.