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Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Legislation and Reform

The NSW Government is reforming the way Aboriginal cultural heritage is conserved and managed in New South Wales. In 2018 the government received feedback from the public on a draft Aboriginal cultural heritage (ACH) Bill.

In April 2019, responsibility for Aboriginal Affairs and Aboriginal cultural heritage was brought to the centre of government within the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

The NSW Government is currently reviewing the draft Bill to see how it can be improved. In the meantime, Heritage NSW is responding to a number of operational issues with the current ACH system that were raised during public consultation.

In particular, we are working to improve existing processes for consulting with Aboriginal people about development proposals and the way Aboriginal Heritage Impact Permits are issued

NSW Aboriginal Cultural Heritage: Public Consultation

From September 2017 to April 2018 the Government publicly consulted on a proposed new system for managing and conserving Aboriginal cultural heritage in New South Wales. This was supported by the consultation draft Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Bill (ACH Bill) released for public comment in February 2018.

Consultation on the proposed legislation involved a wide range of stakeholders including Aboriginal people and organisations, local government, development proponents, rural land managers, mining bodies, infrastructure providers, heritage professionals and government agencies.

Feedback was received from nearly 700 people attending workshops, over 100 written submissions, verbal submissions, and feedback through the NSW Government’s Have Your Say online portal.

Further targeted stakeholder consultation took place in January and February 2019.

ACH reforms - Summary of Submissions Report - 2018

The summary of submissions report  provides an overview and analysis of the feedback provided. This includes feedback received through workshops and written and verbal submissions. While not an exhaustive record of every comment received, it gives a representative summary of the comments and issues raised.

The NSW government is currently reviewing the draft Bill to see how it can be improved and is committed to further public consultation.

At the same time, Heritage NSW is responding to a number of operational issues with the current ACH system that were raised during public consultation.

To stay up to date on the next stages of the reforms send your contact details to the ACH reforms team at: ach.reform@environment.nsw.gov.au