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Meteorites Act 1973 (No. 76 of 1973)
Requested:  25 Jun 2017
Consolidated as at:  26 Sep 2015
Table of Amending Instruments: (click to view Table of Amendments)
Responsible Minister and Department:See the latest Administrative Arrangement Order or view the Information Guides to Legislation

Meteorites Act 1973

An Act to make provision for the protection of meteorites, and for matters incidental thereto

[Royal Assent 19 December 1973]

Be it enacted by His Excellency the Governor of Tasmania, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Council and House of Assembly, in Parliament assembled, as follows:

1. Short title

This Act may be cited as the Meteorites Act 1973.

2. Interpretation

In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears –

meteorite means a natural mass that has fallen to the earth from beyond the atmosphere;
the Trustees means the Trustees of the Tasmanian Museum constituted by section four of the Tasmanian Museum Act 1950.

3. Vesting of meteorites

(1) A meteorite which, after the commencement of this Act, is found by any person on any land, is the property of the Crown and the management and control thereof is vested in the Trustees.
(2) Subject to subsection (3) of this section, the Trustees shall take all steps to preserve a meteorite in situ or at some other suitable place.
(3) The Trustees may allow or make arrangements for scientific or other investigation of a meteorite.

4. Duties of persons finding meteorites

A person who finds a meteorite –

(a) shall, as soon as practicable after the finding, give notice of it, to the Trustees; and

(b) may recover and deliver the meteorite to the Trustees.

5. Protection and recovery of meteorites

No person shall –

(a) wilfully damage or destroy a meteorite; or

(b) except for the purpose of recovering and delivering a meteorite to the Trustees, remove or be in possession of the meteorite.


Fine not exceeding 10 penalty units.

6. Reimbursement of expenses

(1) The Trustees may, in their discretion, refund the amount of any reasonable expense incurred by a person, in –

(a) notifying the Trustees of the finding of a meteorite;

(b) furnishing information to the Trustees which results in the finding of a meteorite; or

(c) recovering and delivering a meteorite to them.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, the Trustees may offer and pay a reward in any of the cases referred to in that subsection.
(3) Where damage is occasioned to any land in the course of the recovery of a meteorite by or on the authority of the trustees, the trustees shall compensate the owner of the land for that damage and any such compensation is recoverable by action in a court of competent jurisdiction.
Table Of Amendments
ActNumber and yearDate of commencement
Meteorites Act 1973No. 76 of 1973 19.12.1973
Penalty Units and Other Penalties Amendment Act 1991No. 43 of 1991 18.12.1991

CURRENT VIEW: 1 Feb 1997 -