Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Protection needed now

9 November 2022

The NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) has urged all MPs of the current Parliament to leave a lasting legacy and support the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage (Culture is Identity) Bill 2022.

This follows the handing down yesterday (Tuesday) of an Upper House Inquiry into the Culture is Identity Bill, which found that new, modernised and standalone legislation for the recognition, protection, conservation and preservation of Aboriginal cultural heritage in NSW was “both necessary and long overdue.”

The report also found the current system was failing to protect Aboriginal cultural heritage.

Reform was urgently needed, was the consensus at an important Aboriginal Cultural Heritage march yesterday, supported by the NSWALC and organised by Metropolitan and Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Councils.

The co-sponsors of the Private Members’ Bill the Hon. Rev. Fred Nile and the Hon. Alex Greenwich led the procession up Macquarie Street to outside Parliament House, while chair of the Upper House inquiry, the Hon. Sue Higginson, also addressed the crowd.

NSWALC Sydney Newcastle Councillor Abie Wright spoke on the importance of preserving Aboriginal heritage across all of NSW, and the importance of ensuring this was a focus for the Land Rights network leading up to next year’s State election.

“We need a better system to ensure our rich culture and heritage is protected for future generations – not just for our jarjums, but for all children that walk these lands.” Cr Wright said

“Everyday we wait for laws, is another day our culture and heritage is being ruined.”

NSWALC acknowledge the significant contributions of the Local Aboriginal Land Councils and communities across NSW who continue to fight for the protection of our cultural heritage.

Details of the Inquiry can be found here: Aboriginal Cultural Heritage (Culture is Identity) Bill 2022 (nsw.gov.au).

Media contact: media@alc.org.au