Culture and heritage

Aboriginal heritage

Aboriginal cultural heritage reforms

The NSW Government remains committed to implementing new stand-alone legislation that respects and protects Aboriginal cultural heritage (ACH) in New South Wales for current and future generations, and which provides clear and consistent processes for economic and social development in New South Wales. 

A draft Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Bill will be released for public feedback in the second half of 2017. Public consultation on the draft bill will occur over three months to ensure people have time to familiarise themselves with the proposals and provide feedback.

The draft bill will be accompanied by a range of explanatory material to support the public’s understanding of the bill and assist in responding to the draft proposals. As during previous phases of consultation, individuals and organisations will be able to provide feedback in several ways, including through workshops and written submissions.

The draft bill will reflect public feedback on a draft reform model released by the NSW Government in September 2013. The 2013 model was developed in response to the recommendations of the independent Aboriginal Culture and Heritage Reform Working Party, earlier public feedback and consideration of current practice in other states and territories.

Feedback on the 2013 model demonstrated wide ranging and contrasting views on what a final model for Aboriginal cultural heritage reform should look like. The NSW Government has been working through these diverse views and perspectives to revise the 2013 model in a balanced and workable way.

Public feedback will be used to refine the draft legislation before its introduction to Parliament in 2018.

More information about the release of the draft bill will be available soon, including details of how to register to attend the public consultation sessions.

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

Page last updated: 17 July 2017