You can search the Aboriginal Heritage Information Management System (AHIMS) to find out if an Aboriginal Place or object has been recorded in a particular area.
Before carrying out an activity that will alter the landscape you must think about how it might affect Aboriginal sites. For some activities, the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 requires you to exercise due diligence to check if Aboriginal sites will be harmed by your activities. Checking AHIMS is part of due diligence.
Other reasons for using AHIMS include:
- conveyance before purchase or sale of a property
- Aboriginal heritage research, studies and assessments
- fire hazard reduction certificates
- Aboriginal community initiatives.
AHIMS and due diligence
The Due Diligence Code of Practice for the Protection of Aboriginal Objects in NSW (the Code of Practice; PDF 1MB) must be used by individuals or organisations considering undertaking activities that could harm Aboriginal sites.
It sets out a process to help you determine whether:
- Aboriginal objects will be harmed by an activity
- further investigation is warranted
- a planned activity requires an Aboriginal Heritage Impact Permit.
The Code of Practice lists industry-specific due diligence codes, such as for minerals and forestry industries. These have been adopted by the National Parks and Wildlife Regulation 2019 and where relevant can be followed instead of the more generic code.
Once you register or log in to AHIMS (AHIMS web services), a key step in the due diligence process is to check for Aboriginal sites. To do this:
- conduct a free AHIMS basic search in the area of the proposed activity
- if the results indicate that AHIMS contains information about an Aboriginal site in the area of the proposed activity, you must request an extensive search.