Is Aboriginal heritage protected?

It is important to be aware of the fact that all Aboriginal sites in NSW are protected and it is an offence to damage or destroy them (this includes collecting artefacts) without prior permission of the Director-General of the Office of Environment and Heritage. The two pieces of legislation that most protect Aboriginal heritage management in NSW are:

  • National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974
  • Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979

Penalties for harming an Aboriginal site (which could include graffiti) are up to $275,000 and one year’s imprisonment for individuals and $1.1 million for corporations.

For more detailed information see our Legislation section.

Posted in: About Aboriginal Heritage