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Australia protects its shipwrecks and their associated relics that are older than 75 years through the Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976. The Historic Shipwrecks Act applies to Australian waters that extend from the low tide mark to the end of the continental shelf and is administered in collaboration between the Commonwealth and the States, Northern Territory and Norfolk Island. Some Australian shipwreck sites lie within protected or no-entry zones.
The Historic Shipwrecks Act is delivered through the Historic Shipwrecks Program. Its objectives are to research, explore, document and protect Australia's historic shipwreck heritage. Each State or Territory program offers different opportunities for public participation as do maritime archaeological volunteer associations that exist in Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia.
The Australian Government's Plan for a Cleaner Environment - Clean Air, Clean Land, Clean Water and National Heritage - will help realise the vision of a great society by protecting and improving our environment for future generations.