Aboriginal Cultural Heritage in New South Wales: Public consultation

The NSW Government is reforming the way Aboriginal cultural heritage is conserved and managed in New South Wales and is seeking your feedback to help refine the proposed new system. The public consultation is open from 11 September 2017 to 6 April 2018.

Raising hands graphicThe first step involves changing the law for conserving and managing Aboriginal cultural heritage. This will form the cornerstone of a new legal framework that will, over time, also include new regulations, policies and guidelines.

Public feedback from a reform model released by the NSW Government in 2013 revealed general support for the principles of that model, but there were wide ranging and often contrasting views about detailed design elements. After several years of consultation and carefully considering this feedback, we have developed a proposed new system for managing and conserving Aboriginal cultural heritage.

Where is the process up to?

An estimated total of 560 people attended the first stage of public consultation in September and October 2017, which consisted of 19 information session at various locations throughout NSW. The majority of feedback from the information sessions was positive. Overall, participants were satisfied with the level of information provided, understood the proposals and felt safe and comfortable with the format.

In March 2018, we will hold a series of workshops in the same 19 locations as well as an additional one in Tamworth. At the workshops people can discuss and provide feedback on the proposed new framework and details of the draft Bill.

The draft Bill is available: A proposed new legal framework: Aboriginal cultural heritage in New South Wales.

What the proposed new system aims to do

The proposed new system aims to fulfil the NSW Government’s commitment to deliver stand-alone legislation that respects and conserves Aboriginal cultural heritage for current and future generations. It also aims to recognise Aboriginal custodianship and ensure Aboriginal people have the authority to makes decisions about Aboriginal cultural heritage, while providing clear and consistent processes for economic and social development in New South Wales.

How you can have your say

Public consultation is open from 11 September 2017 to 6 April 2018.

You can get involved in the public consultation process by giving feedback on the draft legislation and support materials by:

  • Attending a workshop
    – note that the purpose of the workshops is for the public to discuss and provide feedback on the draft legislation.
  • Emailing your written submission to ach.reform@environment.nsw.gov.au
  • Posting your written submission to:
    NSW Office of Environment and Heritage
    PO Box A290
    Sydney South, NSW 1232
  • Making a verbal submission by calling 131 555 (option 3) and asking to leave a verbal submission. These can be up to 5 minutes long.
  • Making an online submission.

Videos

The first three videos will give you a quick and simple introduction to the purpose of having new draft legislation, explaining what it is, why we are working on it, and what it aims to do. They will also explain how you can have your say during the public consultation.

  • Video 1: Introduction to the proposed new system for managing and conserving Aboriginal cultural heritage in NSW.
  • Video 2: Why there is a need for change and the benefits of the proposed new system.
  • Video 3: How you and your community can get involved in the public consultation sessions and provide feedback about the proposed new system.

Videos 4 and 5 provide more detailed information about the different components of the proposed new system.

  • Video 4: An overview of the proposed new Aboriginal cultural heritage assessment pathway.
  • Video 5: A webinar recording of an information session about the proposed new system for managing and conserving Aboriginal cultural heritage.