Three proposed models for new Aboriginal culture and heritage laws released for consultation

Three proposed models for new Aboriginal culture and heritage laws released for consultation

The New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) is seeking your feedback on three alternative models for new laws to manage and protect Aboriginal culture and heritage in NSW. The three models are outlined in a report commissioned by NSWALC titled 'Protecting the Past, Guarding the Future'.

The models have been proposed in order to encourage discussion and debate about the merits of different possible approaches to legislative reform.
The three proposed models for reform are:

  • Model 1: Aboriginal Culture and Heritage Commissions, which is based on the recommendations of past reviews and some aspects of the Northern Territory Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority,
  • Model 2: Two-tiered Aboriginal Land Councils, which references some Indigenous committees established by First Nations (North American and Canadian) groups), and
  • Model 3: Registered Aboriginal Parties, which references the current Victorian system with significant changes to recognize the network of existing organizations in NSW such as Land Councils and Native Title groups.

    Have your say!
    NSWALC is seeking your feedback on the merits or otherwise of the three proposed models, to help inform NSWALC's position and response to the current review process.

    Please send your feedback on the proposed models to NSWALC the Policy and Research Unit by the 29th June 2012. A discussion paper and feedback form has been developed to assist in providing feedback.

    Further information about the reform process, is available on the 'More than Flora and Fauna' page of the NSWALC website /culture-and-heritage/more-than-flora--fauna.aspx

    NSWALC community consultations May-July 2012
    The NSWALC Policy and Research Unit will be conducting consultations with the network on the three proposed models for new Aboriginal culture and heritage laws during May and June 2012.

    Please contact your Zone office for further details about consultations in your region.

    Update on reform of Aboriginal Culture and Heritage legislation in NSW
    On the 16 May 2012 the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) announced the composition of the revised Aboriginal Culture and Heritage Reform Working Party on their website, consisting of individuals' from various stakeholders and industry, and a new Chairperson. The reform process, and the composition of the Working Party, has been changed by government several times since it was announced in February 2010.

    Currently the NSWALC Chairman, Cr Stephen Ryan, is represented on the Working Party, however, the Government have stated this appointment is in an individual capacity and as an expert in land management and culture and heritage issues.

Members of the newly established working party are:

1. Danny Gilbert (Gilbert + Tobin) Chair of the working party,
2. Norman Laing (OEH) ex-officio member,
3. Jason Ardler (Office of Aboriginal Affairs) - ex-officio member,
4. Chairman Stephen Ryan (NSWALC),
5. Constance Chatfield (Local Government Shire Association),
6. Megan Mebberson (Office of the Registrar),
7. Sandra Wallace (Australian Association of Consulting Archeologists),
8. Brianna Casey (NSW Farmers),
9. Robert Wilcher (Property Council of Australia, NSW), and
10. Brad Welsh (Rio Tinto).

Furthermore, OEH are due to commence an 'education campaign' between June and July 2012. The OEH website states that an Options paper will be developed by September 2012, and that the NSW Government will make final decisions on recommendations for reform in March 2013.

More information
For further information or if you would like copies of More than Flora and Fauna resources, please contact the NSWALC Policy and Research Unit on or (02) 9689 4444.