Culture and heritage

Aboriginal heritage

Aboriginal cultural heritage reforms

The NSW Government is seeking your views on a proposed new system for managing and conserving Aboriginal cultural heritage. It will be supported by a new legal framework that respects and conserves Aboriginal cultural heritage in New South Wales. 

The proposed new system responds to public feedback on a draft reform model released in September 2013. That feedback showed there was general support for the principles of the proposed model, but wide-ranging and often contrasting views on detailed design elements.

These diverse views and perspectives have been carefully considered, and we are now proposing a new system. The proposed new system offers a transformative, contemporary and respectful vision for the management of Aboriginal cultural heritage in New South Wales. The system will be established by new legislation that will be released shortly.

The aims of the proposed new system are:

  1. broader recognition of Aboriginal cultural heritage values – by recognising in law a more respectful and contemporary understanding of Aboriginal cultural heritage
  2. decision making by Aboriginal people – by creating a new governance structures that gives Aboriginal people legal responsibility for and authority over Aboriginal cultural heritage
  3. better information management – improving outcomes for Aboriginal cultural heritage through new information management systems and processes that are overseen by Aboriginal people
  4. improved protection, management and conservation of Aboriginal cultural heritage – by providing broader protection and more strategic conservation of Aboriginal cultural heritage values
  5. greater confidence in the regulatory system – by providing better upfront information to support assessments, clearer consultation processes and timeframes, and regulatory tools that can adapt to different types of projects.

The public consultation is now open. Visit the consultation page for more information about the proposed new system or to register to attend an information session, workshop or webinar.

To stay up to date, please send your contact details to the ACH reforms team at:

Page last updated: 13 September 2017