An Australian husband and wife have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms for sexually abusing, torturing and confining their daughter over 15 years.

The District Court in Sydney was told that the father used various sharp tools to rape and torture the girl who was left tied up in a shed or in a plastic box on the family's ritual property in northern New South Wales state for up to three days at a time.

The parents cannot be identified. The 59-year-old father was sentenced on Friday to 48 years in prison. He will be eligible for parole after serving 36 years.

The 51-year-old mother was sentenced to 16 years in prison and must service at least 11 years.