Update on Aboriginal Culture and Heritage Reform

23 November 2017 

The NSW Government has rescheduled a series of workshops on draft proposals  for the new Aboriginal Culture and Heritage laws to next year (early 2018).

The Office of Environment and Heritage had previously scheduled workshops in November and December. All workshops have now been delayed until early 2018.   

Dates and times for the workshops in 2018 are not yet available, but will be posted on the website by mid-December 2017: http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topics/aboriginal-cultural-heritage/legislation/draft-aboriginal-cultural-heritage-legislation-2017-consultation/public-information-sessions

NSWALC Chair Roy Ah-See encouraged the Network and members of the Aboriginal community to engage in this important opportunity to improve Aboriginal Culture and Heritage laws in NSW.

NSWALC has long advocated for major reforms as the current laws:

  • Do not provide any decision making rights to Aboriginal peoples
  • Focus on regulating the destruction of our heritage rather than protection
  • Are outdated, inappropriate and include very limited definitions of what can be protected
  • Appear in the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 (NSW) (NPW Act) - all other States/Territories have standalone or updated Aboriginal Culture and Heritage legislation
  • Is a reactive system and doesn't consider Aboriginal heritage before planning decisions are made
  • Are not based on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

"NSWALC is committed to working with the Network to ensure that any new proposed legislation is supported by Aboriginal peoples, the Aboriginal Land Rights Network and meets NSWALC's Principles for Reform" Cr Ah-See said.

Further information about the draft proposals is available here and further advice will be distributed over the coming weeks.

To access updates and more information we encourage you to visit the 'More than Flora and Fauna' page of the NSWALC website at www.alc.org.au 

The Government reform proposals can be accessed on the OEH website a  http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/achreform/

Information about the current laws are available in  NSWALC's Site Protection Fact Sheet series available at: /publications/fact-sheets.aspx 

If you would like to discuss the proposed reforms, please contact the NSWALC Strategy and Policy Unit on 02 9689 4444 or email policy@alc.org.au .