Culture and heritage

Aboriginal heritage

The proposed Government model

The Government is committed to implementing new stand-alone legislation that respects and protects ACH for current and future generations and provides clear and consistent processes for economic and social development in NSW.

Based on the principles for reform, public feedback and research, the Government proposed a model for reforming Aboriginal cultural heritage legislation in NSW.

Key principles of the Government's proposed model

  • Respect for Aboriginal culture, to recognise Aboriginal people's responsibility and authority over their own cultural heritage and their right to expect protection for significant cultural values.
  • Legislative balance, to recognise the different needs and interests of groups within the whole community and to deliver social, economic and environmental outcomes in the best interests of all people in NSW.
  • Government efficiency, to reduce red tape, duplication and unnecessary state intervention in local issues.
  • Best practice principles to raise the benchmark of performance and deliver a diverse range of ACH benefits.

Key features of the Government's proposed model

  • Standalone legislation will be created. All Aboriginal cultural heritage provisions in the current National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 will be removed when a new Act for Aboriginal cultural heritage is created.
  • New definitions and objectives to increase what is protected.
  • A new process which will require proponents to consult with a Local ACH Committee which is comprised of Aboriginal people who hold the cultural authority to make decisions about heritage management.
  • Local decision making through local ACH committees which will be created that work with Aboriginal people to identify the key ACH values and priorities for their area. The local ACH committees will create ACH Maps and Plans of Management to inform ACH conservation priorities, planning decisions and negotiations for development approvals.
  • Early consultation and involvement, with the local ACH committees must consult with Aboriginal people during the development of the ACH maps and Plans of Management.
  • Support from OEH's Heritage Division and the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee (ACHAC).
  • Tools and processes to support conservation and strategic planning processes.
  • Flexible regulatory processes and streamlined processes will ensure the regulatory response is appropriate to the nature and scale of development.
  • Managing unexpected ACH finds, clear and timely processes that effectively manage ACH values for projects that encounter unexpected finds.
  • Compliance enforcement, with clear offences, penalties, defences and exemptions that are enforceable.
  • Includes mandatory timeframes, mediation and appeal processes.

Public feedback on the Government's proposed model is available online. All public consultation submissions and recommendations are being considered by the Government for refining and improving upon the proposed approach for reform.

Find out about the public consultation background and previous phases.

Was this page helpful?

Thank you for your feedback.

Would you like to tell us more?

Share this

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter More...
Page last updated: 03 March 2015