Comment invited on new model for the Protection of Moveable Cultural Heritage Act 1986

30 July 2015

Public comment is invited on a position paper that outlines a proposed new model for the Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986 (PMCH Act).

In late 2014 Mr Shane Simpson AM was appointed to conduct this important review to modernise the PMCH Act. The Act has not been substantially amended since its enactment more than 25 years ago.

The review intends to provide improved clarity on the processes and requirements of those importing and exporting cultural objects in Australia.

Mr Simpson has developed a position paper that proposes a simpler legislative framework, objective standards to define objects being regulated, a flexible and risk-based approach to assessment processes, and clearer guidance to decision-makers throughout the process.

Members of the arts and culture sector, state and territory government agencies and members of the public will be invited to provide comment on the proposed model for protection via a soon to be released national survey. In addition targeted consultation sessions will be held in each capital city in July and August 2015.

The PMCH Act plays an important role in protecting Australia’s cultural heritage by regulating the export of objects that are significant to our history, and by assisting collecting institutions to acquire significant cultural material. It also provides for the return of foreign cultural property which has been illegally exported from its country of origin.

The PMCH Act gives effect to Australia’s agreement to the UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property 1970.

For more information about the PMCH Act review, access the position paper and information on how to contribute visit the Ministry for the Arts website.