The Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee (the Committee) is established under sections 27 and 28, and Schedule 9 of the National and Parks Wildlife Act 1974.
The Committee is administered by Heritage NSW.
Their role is to advise the Minister for Environment and Heritage and the Executive Director of Heritage NSW on any matter relating to the identification, assessment and management of Aboriginal cultural heritage in New South Wales.
This includes initiatives such as:
- programs to increase Aboriginal participation in the management of Country in New South Wales
- monitoring of and advising Heritage NSW on the delivery of the Aboriginal Heritage Conservation Program (AHCP)
- consideration of, and advising the Heritage Council of NSW on, matters relating to Aboriginal cultural heritage, including the Thematic Listing Program (Aboriginal) for the State Heritage Register
- Aboriginal cultural heritage identification, assessment and protection methodologies and tools
- Aboriginal heritage impact processes
- policies and research relating to Aboriginal cultural heritage and the management of Country in New South Wales
- communication strategies between Heritage NSW and Aboriginal communities on Aboriginal cultural heritage management matters
- review and monitoring of legislation and State Plan targets/goals/actions as it relates to Aboriginal cultural heritage.
Schedule 9 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act is as follows:
- The Committee is to consist of:
- 13 members appointed by the Minister in accordance with this clause, and
- an ex-officio member, being the Director-General (or his or her delegate).
1A. The ex-officio member is a non-voting member of the Committee.
- The appointed members of the Committee are to consist of:
- one member nominated by the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council
- one member nominated by the Heritage Council of New South Wales
- one member nominated by the NTSCORP Limited (ACN 098 971 209)
- 10 other members appointed from the following:
- nominees of Aboriginal elders groups
- registered native title claimants
- Aboriginal owners listed on the register under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983.
- Members of the Committee are to be persons who:
- are involved in cultural heritage matters in their local communities
- have an understanding of cultural heritage management issues.
- The Minister is to ensure that:
- as far as is reasonably practicable, there is gender balance in the membership of the Committee, and
- as far as is reasonably practicable, the members of the Committee come from a range of cultural areas across New South Wales, and
- all the appointed members of the Committee are Aboriginal persons.
- The Minister is to cause an advertisement inviting written nominations of persons for appointment to the Committee to be published in a newspaper circulating throughout New South Wales and in a newspaper widely read in Aboriginal communities in New South Wales.
- The advertisement must specify the following:
- the number of members to be appointed to the Committee pursuant to nomination
- the particular capacity or capacities (being a capacity specified in subclause (2) or (3)) that a member will be required to have
- the closing date for nominations (being a date not earlier than 28 days after the date of the advertisement)
- the address to which nominations are to be sent.
- The advertisement must also state that a nomination will not be accepted unless the nominee’s written consent to the nomination is forwarded with the nomination.
- The Minister is not to appoint a person as a member of the Committee unless:
- the person was duly nominated under this clause
- nominations have closed
- the Minister has considered all nominations duly received.
2. Terms of office
A member shall, subject to Schedule 9 of the Act, hold office for a period of 3 years or such lesser period as may be specified in the member’s instrument of appointment, and is eligible for reappointment as a member.
3. Removal from office
The Minister may, for any cause which to the Minister seems sufficient, remove from office any member of the Committee.
4. Vacation of office
A member of the Committee shall be deemed to have vacated the member’s office if the member:
- resigns the member’s office by writing under the member’s hand addressed to the Minister
- becomes a temporary patient, a continued treatment patient, a protected person or an incapable person within the meaning of the Mental Health Act 1958 or a person under detention under Part 7 of that Act
- ceases to hold the qualification by virtue of which the member was appointed
- is removed from office by the Minister.
5. Filling casual vacancy
On the occurrence of a vacancy in the office of a member of the Committee, otherwise than by the expiration of the term for which the member was appointed, the Minister may appoint a person to hold that office for the balance of the predecessor’s term of office, being a person qualified under clause 1 in the same manner (if any) of that predecessor.
6. Alternate members
- The Minister may at any time appoint, as an alternate member to act during the absence or illness of a member of the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee, a person qualified under clause 1 in the same manner (if any) as the person for whom he or she is the alternate member.
- An alternate member shall have and may exercise, while acting as a member of the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee, the powers, authorities, duties and functions, as such a member, of the person for whom he or she is the alternate member.
6A. Presiding member
At a meeting of the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee, a member elected by the members present at the meeting to chair the meeting is to preside at the meeting.
- Seven members shall form a quorum at any meeting of the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee and any duly convened meeting at which a quorum is present shall be competent to transact any business of the Committee. A minimum of three male and three female members is required to be present to form a quorum.
- Questions arising at a meeting of the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee shall be determined by a majority of votes of the members present and voting.
The procedure for the calling of meetings of the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee and for the conduct of business at those meetings shall, subject to the Schedule and any regulations made in relation thereto, be as determined by the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee.
A member of the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee shall be entitled to receive such fees and travelling or other expenses (if any) as the Minister may determine in respect of the member.