Review of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003

On 23 May 2019, The Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships (DATSIP) announced a review of the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003 (Qld) and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Heritage Act 2003 (Qld).

The Consultation Paper released by DATSIP advised that the review would examine whether the legislation:

  • is still operating as intended
  • is achieving outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other stakeholders in Queensland
  • is in line with the Queensland Government’s broader objective to reframe the relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • should be updated to reflect the current native title landscape.

Jabree lodged a submission with DATSIP on 2nd August which focussed on the shortcomings of the operation of the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003 (the Act). The key highlights of the submission are:

  • Aboriginal people should continue to be the primary source for determining the cultural significance of a site
  • Land developers should be required to provide appropriate evidence of compliance with the cultural heritage duty of care
  • A strong need remains for the education of land users regarding the operation of the Act and Duty of Care Guidelines
  • Enforcement Officers should be employed by the Qld Government to ensure compliance with the Act

On 12th November 2019 DATSIP published all submissions on the following website:

https://www.datsip.qld.gov.au/programs-initiatives/review-cultural-heritage-acts

The review team is currently considering the issues, ideas and options raised in all submissions with a view to the development of policy changes to be considered by the Qld Parliament in 2020.

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