Federal strategy a missed opportunity to protect Aboriginal culture

10 December 2015

Federal strategy a missed opportunity to protect Aboriginal culture

The Commonwealth Government's National Heritage Strategy is a missed opportunity to protect and promote Aboriginal culture and heritage, the NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) said today.

NSWALC Chair Roy Ah-See said the Strategy, released yesterday did not contain comprehensive or tangible actions and failed to commit to any significant new programs, resources or funding to protect Aboriginal heritage.

"The proposed actions in the Strategy that relate to Indigenous heritage are very limited."

"They include publishing an updated guide on consultation with Indigenous peoples, a Green Army to work with traditional owners and increasing the philanthropic focus on heritage."

Cr Ah-See said the Federal Government need to provide further details on the proposed UK-style lottery system and make a commitment to not move away from its responsibilities to protect Aboriginal culture and heritage.

"The Strategy also mentions conducting a review of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act, which was reviewed in 2009 with no outcomes at the end of the process."

"The current laws and policies are already inadequate and the National Heritage Strategy fails to address the on-going damage and destruction of Aboriginal heritage across New South Wales."

"The National Heritage Strategy is a missed opportunity for the Federal Government to show leadership and implement its responsibilities in line with its international commitments."

"We need strong legislation and programs that are developed in consultation with Aboriginal people to ensure our culture and heritage is protected and promoted."

Media contact: Andrew Williams 0429 585 291