The National Heritage List was created in January 2004 to recognise, celebrate and protect places of outstanding heritage value to the nation. National heritage encompasses those places that reveal the richness of Australia's extraordinarily diverse natural, historic and Indigenous heritage. One aspect of natural heritage that has been little explored is Australia’s wealth of exceptional fossil sites. While a small number of fossil sites have risen to public prominence, there are many lesser-known sites that have important heritage values.
The Australian Heritage Council engaged palaeontologists from state museums and the Northern Territory Museum and Art Gallery to compile lists of outstanding fossil sites and to document their characteristics and relative importance against a range of categories, with a view to further our understanding about Australia’s important fossil heritage. Sites that were listed for National or World Heritage values were not included in the places for consideration, with the focus being on lesser-known but still important sites. This book is an account of the palaeontologists’ findings. Some of the sites that were included in the initial lists have since been recognised through listing on the National Heritage List or the World Heritage List.
Australia’s Fossil Heritage provides a useful reference to the outstanding fossil sites it catalogues, and gives a clearer understanding of the heritage values of such sites. More generally, it contributes to a greater appreciation of Australia’s geological and fossil diversity and enables readers to learn more about Australia’s prehistory.
1. New South Wales
2. Northern Territory
4. South Australia
7. Western Australia
Appendix A: List of sites by type
Appendix B: Geological timeline
References and further reading
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The Australian Heritage Council is the Australian Government's independent expert advisory body on heritage matters. The Council plays a key role in assessment, advice and policy formulation and support of major heritage programs.