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The State Heritage Unit in DEWNR would like to thank everyone for their comments and their survey responses. A report on the feedback received and what changes may be required as a result of the feedback has been developed -the update on the outcomes of this consultation can be found here.     


Feedback is being sought on a draft Bill to amend the current Historic Shipwrecks Act 1981. We want your input on the proposed changes including penalty amounts, declaration of historic shipwrecks and powers of inspectors. We also want to hear what else you think the government can do to help manage and protect the State’s historic shipwrecks and relics.

What is being decided?

Shipwrecks are an integral part of our State’s rich maritime history. The remains of ships that have been situated in territorial waters of the State for 75 years or more are declared as Historic Shipwrecks and are protected under the South Australian Historic Shipwrecks Act 1981 (the Act). To date, around 270 historic shipwrecks have been declared under the Act in South Australia.

Shipwrecks are often fragile and activities such as dropping anchors or line fishing near these wrecks can and do cause significant and irreversible damage. In recent times, an increase in the number of illegal activities taking place on or around shipwrecks has highlighted the need for the Act to be reviewed so that law enforcement in this area becomes more effective and efficient. Accordingly, to help protect our State’s precious shipwrecks and relics, an increase in penalty rates under the Act is proposed along with a number of other minor amendments covering administrative matters which are outlined in the attached information sheet.

The Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) together with the community is responsible for the management and protection of the state’s maritime heritage. DEWNR encourages the responsible enjoyment of shipwreck sites and also aims to safeguard these sites for future generations.

How can your input influence the decision?

Your feedback will provide valuable perspectives on the government’s proposed amendments to the Historic Shipwrecks Act 1981 and will help inform the final bill to be endorsed by the Minster and then approved for introduction to Parliament.

We want your feedback on the proposed amendments to the Historic Shipwrecks Act 1981 document. To have your say you can:

  1. Download the draft Historic Shipwrecks (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill 2016 (PDF, 70KB).
  2. Download the overview of proposed amendments document (PDF, 195KB).
  3. Join the online discussion.
  4. Comment in the survey.

How will your input be used?

A report on what was heard and what changed as a result will be prepared once online consultation and consultation with targeted stakeholders has ended. This report will be made available on the YourSAy website. All feedback received will be considered before the Bill is finalised for introduction into Parliament.

Want to find out more?


Thu, 8 Sep 2016 at 2:00 PM

Consultation Report now available


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