Australia/ 5.2 Legislation on culture  

The Minister for the Arts administers the following Commonwealth Acts that pertain to culture.  These are primary laws that establish the scope, operation, and governance structures of the institution.

Australia Council Act 2013

Australian Film, Television and Radio School Act 1973

http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Search/Australian Film$C$ Television and Radio School Act 1973

National Film and Sound Archive Act 2008

http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Search/National Film and Sound Archive Act 2008

National Gallery Act 1975

http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Search/National Gallery Act 1975

National Library Act 1960

http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Search/National Library Act 1960

National Museum of Australia Act 1980

http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Search/National Museum of Australia Act 1980

Australian National Maritime Museum Act 1990

http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Search/Australian National Maritime Museum  Act 1990

Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986

http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Search/Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986

Public Lending Right Act 1985

http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Search/Public Lending Right Act 1985

Screen Australia Act 2008

http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Search/Screen Australia Act 2008

National Portrait Gallery Act 2012

http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2012A00148

The following Acts are administered by the Minister for Sustainability, Water, Population and Communities:

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984

http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Search/Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984

The purpose of this Act is to enable the Commonwealth government

…  to respond to requests to protect traditionally important areas and objects that are under threat, if it appears that state or territory laws have not provided effective protection. The government can make special orders, called declarations, to protect significant Aboriginal areas, objects and classes of objects from threats of injury or desecration. The government cannot make a declaration unless an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person (or a person representing an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person) has requested it and has provided satisfactory evidence of a body of traditions, customs, observances and beliefs that explains, firstly, why there is a threat of injury or desecration and, secondly, why the area, object or class of objects is of particular significance to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people. The power to make declarations is meant to be used as a last resort, after the relevant processes of the state or territory have been exhausted.

In 2011 the government announced that it would consider incorporating the requirements of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984 into the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act), following a review of the latter Act.  This issue has not yet been finalised.

Australian Heritage Council Act 2003

http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Search/Australian Heritage Council Act 2003

Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976

http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Search/Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976


Chapter published: 27-12-2013


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