Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Reform

7 December, 2020

7 December 2020

Have Your Say on Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Reform

In 2010, a bipartisan commitment was made to reform NSW Aboriginal Culture and Heritage (ACH) laws. The laws have been under review since, for more than 10 years.

In 2018 a draft Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Bill was consulted on.

Despite not legislating, the NSW Government has reaffirmed its commitment to ACH reform and is looking for options to reduce the complexity and costliness of ACH systems, increase self-determination and build on existing structures.

NSWALC has long advocated for reforms and has consistently recommended improvement to ACH laws to increase protections and support self-determination.

There is now an opportunity to have a say and demand greater protection and control over our culture and heritage.

NSWALC is seeking your views on what should be in new laws, including:

  • new governance and administrative mechanisms
  • reforms to increase self-determination
  • building on land rights & native title
  • improving protection mechanisms

The attached Discussion Paper outlines key principles and key reform elements that NSWALC is particularly seeking your feedback on. In the interim, NSWALC is continuing to advocate for improvements to the current system.

NSWALC is seeking assurances that proposed amendments to other NSW legislation, including bushfire and land use management outlined in the Rural Fires Act and Local Land Services Act, will ensure protections for Aboriginal cultural heritage.

NSWALC is also advocating for increased protections for Aboriginal heritage and support for cultural practices at the national level, including cultural burning, national Indigenous heritage standards, and proposed reforms to national environmental laws.

NSWALC is seeking your feedback and comments

Email the Strategy and Policy Unit: policy@alc.org.au

Phone: 02 9689 4444

More information:

Click here to download the Discussion Paper

Visit our website: https://alc.org.au/culture-and-heritage-reforms/

You can access a printer-friendly version of this message by clicking here.


We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners of the lands where we work as well as across the lands we travel through. We also acknowledge our Elders past, present and emerging.

Artwork Credit: Craig Cromelin, from a painting he did titled, "4 favourite fishing holes". It is a snippet of his growing years on the Lachlan River, featuring yabby, turtle, fish and family.