Aboriginal Heritage Information Management System – automated service

The Aboriginal Heritage Information Management System is being upgraded to enable the instant delivery of site cards and reports, and automated payments.

We are automating the way customers receive and pay for information in the Aboriginal Heritage Information Management System (AHIMS).

This means that you will:

  • need to pay upfront for the information you want – you can no longer pay later by invoice
  • get your information automatically once the payment has cleared – you no longer need to wait up to 10 days.

Making site cards and reports instantly downloadable from AHIMS after payment makes it faster and easier for you to access information.

It frees up more of our time so we can focus on providing better service in other areas.

Only requests made after the system changes go live will be downloadable from AHIMS. Old requests will still be emailed.

Fees and payment

We have not changed the fees, and basic searches will still be free.

See 'List of fees' on the AHIMS page.

All fees are invested in improving AHIMS.

You can pay for searches and requests online in he Aboriginal Heritage Information Management System (AHIMS). The system will give the option to ‘make payment’ and a pop-up window will connect to the payment gateway.

You don’t have to pay by credit card. The payment gateway will also allow you to use BPAY, PayID and debit card payments.

Once the system clears the payment, the reports and site cards will be downloadable from AHIMS.

Note: BPAY payments can take up to 3 days to process and you will not receive your documents until the payment has been processed.

By default, individuals can only pay for single requests. But if you send an email asking to pay for multiple requests in one transaction, we can change the settings in the system to allow this:


If you are linked to an organisation in the system, the 3 primary contacts listed for the organisation can pay for multiple searches and requests made.

Please pay outstanding invoices the way you normally do.

You can still pay your invoice with Customer Concierge over the phone.

We are no longer issuing invoices for AHIMS requests after December 2023.

Invoices will still be issued for manual GIS (Geospatial information system) searches and license agreements.

Fee waivers

The new waiver principles outline when you can get a waiver for your AHIMS fees. Fee waivers will depend on a customer’s circumstances.

All fees are invested in improving the AHIMS system.

When the systems changes go live, it will include an updated list of customers who always receive a fee waiver (recurring waivers).

Students will need to reapply to get their fee waiver status confirmed.

Fee waivers will not be approved where:

  • You pass on the cost of fees to your clients or third parties.
  • You request services for commercial activities.
  • You are an Aboriginal person making a request as part of your employment in a non-Aboriginal organisation (e.g. the NSW government).

We can issue 2 types of waivers:

  • Recurring waiver – may be granted to certain organisations or persons for an ongoing period. There is no specific expiry date for a recurring waiver.
  • One-time waiver – may be granted on a case-by-case basis to certain organisations or persons depending on the circumstances. The waiver only applies to the specific services provided in that transaction.

Recurring waivers

You will be given a recurring waiver if you are:

  • an Aboriginal community organisation or Aboriginal person
  • a government organisation that is
    • conducting emergency bush fire protection or hazard reduction work
    • conducting emergency work in response to a natural disaster or significant event
    • conducting compliance investigations for the protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage
    • conducting regulatory work related to the administration of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974
  • a student currently enrolled in a course related to Aboriginal cultural heritage. You must provide proof of current enrolment and will need to be registered in AHIMS with an email address issued by the same learning institution.

One-time waivers

We will consider one-time waivers in the following circumstances:

  • You request services on behalf of an Aboriginal community and you can prove that you will not pass on the cost to that community. You will need to provide a letter of support from the Aboriginal Community or group.
  • You request services as a part of a research project endorsed by an education provider.
  • You request services for bona fide projects undertaken solely for the improvement of AHIMS data quality, such as ground truthing, or to coordinate correction of sites.
  • You have paid for services that could not be delivered correctly (e.g. due to technical issues) and are requesting a re-supply of those services.
  • You are facing financial hardship as defined in section 14 of Revenue Collection & Debt Management Framework.

You can apply for one-time waivers after the search is complete but before completing the payment directly on AHIMS. If you qualify for a fee-waiver, the Customer concierge team will grant the waiver and you will be able to download the requested documents.

If you or your organisation is entitled to a recurring fee waiver (see ‘Recurring waivers’), you will continue to receive the waiver after the changes to the system are live.

Only students will need to reapply for their recurring fee waiver status to be confirmed.

The updated terms and conditions for using AHIMS can be viewed when you login to AHIMS. They include the new fee waiver rules which are also outlined under 'Users not entitled to a waiver' and 'Users entitled to a waiver' on this page.

The new fee waiver system provides a clear set of rules so we can make fair and consistent decisions on who can have their AHIMS fees waived.

The old list of fee waived organisations was out of date and hard to understand and maintain.