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Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Land Management Agreements

Aboriginal cultural heritage land management agreements (ACHLMAs) are voluntary agreements made between a Registered Aboriginal Party (RAP) and a public land manager.

What is an ACHLMA?

An Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Land Management Agreement (ACHLMA) is a voluntary agreement between a Registered Aboriginal Party (RAP) and a ‘public land manager’ (PLM).

An ACHLMA provides a mutually agreed framework for protecting and managing Aboriginal cultural heritage during ongoing, routine land management activities within a RAP area.

ACHLMAs document the approach taken to manage Aboriginal cultural heritage by setting out the results of a cultural heritage assessment and mutually agreed measures on how Aboriginal cultural heritage will be protected and managed during land management activities within a specified Agreement Area, over a specified period of time.

Who can enter into an ACHLMA?

A RAP and a ‘public land manager,' is defined by the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 (the Act) as:

  • a committee of management
  • the Secretary to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
  • a municipal council
  • Parks Victoria
  • VicRoads
  • VicTrack
  • a water authority

What does an ACHLMA look like?

An ACHLMA must be prepared in accordance with the prescribed standards, as set out in the Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2018 (the Regulations) and include all the information set out in Schedule 4 of the Regulations. An ACHLMA must also be in the approved form:

The main parts of an ACHLMA are described below.

Parties to the ACHLMA

The name of the public land manager and RAP.

Find the location of each RAP using the Online map tool. Select the Layers button on the toolbar above the map and then select the checkbox next to Appointed RAPs.

A notice of intention to enter into an ACHLMA can only be submitted by the relevant RAP. 

Agreement area

  • A description of the extent of the area to be covered by the ACHLMA.
  • Map(s), indicating the boundaries of the agreement area and the location of the agreement area in the regional context.
  • The natural features of and salient prominent structures and infrastructure in the agreement area.

Land management activities

A list of land management activities permissible under the ACHLMA and a description for:

  • the activity, including its nature and extent
  • permissible ancillary works associated with the activity
  • the likely impact on the land of the activity and any associated ancillary works

Aboriginal cultural heritage assessment

  • The method of and persons involved in the assessment(s) of the agreement area.
  • A summary of any information provided by the RAP or other person about the Aboriginal cultural heritage.
  • Details any obstacles encountered in completing the assessment.
  • A detailed description of the Aboriginal cultural heritage in the Agreement area, including the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register numbers.
  • A map(s) of the agreement area which show the location of that Aboriginal cultural heritage.
  • A statement of the cultural heritage significance of the Aboriginal cultural heritage.

What conditions may be included in an ACHLMA?

An ACHLMA must outline the approach and conditions for Aboriginal cultural heritage management in the agreement area. The cultural heritage management approach is negotiated between the parties, and might be based on the nature of the land management activity and/or the nature of the Aboriginal cultural heritage.

The following conditions must be incorporated into an ACHLMA:

  • Any payments required to be made by the public land manager to the RAP.
  • Any cultural heritage management actions required to be undertaken by the public land manager or any other person subject to the ACHLMA.
  • Any consultation that must be undertaken by the public land manager with the RAP.
  • Any other conditions agreed between the parties to the ACHLMA.

When is the ACHLMA ready?

It is the responsibility of the public land manager to lodge a copies of the following documents within 14 days of entering the agreement:

  • all relevant documentation (including any site records, photographs, maps and plans 
  • the agreement with the Secretary, Department of Premier and Cabinet

Is there a time limit on how long an ACHLMA is valid?

No. As long as the details of when and how it comes into effect and when and how it ends is specified in the ACHLMA.

It is recommended that provisions for reviews of the ACHLMA on a regular basis are documented in the agreement.

An ACHLMA may be amended, but a Notice of intention to amend an ACHLMA must first be lodged by the RAP, as if a new ACHLMA was being prepared.

Reviewed 23 September 2019

Aboriginal Victoria

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