Aboriginal heritage legislation

The Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 and the Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2018.

Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006

The Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 (the Act) acts primarily to provide for the protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage in Victoria.

Who and what helps carry out the Act?

The Act allows different organisations, groups and bodies to connect and better enforce and preserve policies regarding Aboriginal Heritage. It does this through:

  • Establishing the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council. Council provides a state-wide voice for Aboriginal people and advises the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs on cultural heritage management.
  • Establishing Registered Aboriginal Parties. This allows Aboriginal groups with connections to country to be involved in cultural heritage decision making.
  • Establishing the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register. The register records details about Aboriginal places, objects, and knowledge.
  • Cultural Heritage Management Plans (CHMPs) and Cultural Heritage Permit processes, to manage activities that may impact Aboriginal cultural heritage.
  • Providing sanctions and penalties to prevent harm to Aboriginal cultural heritage.
  • Powers for Authorised Officers and Aboriginal Heritage Officers, and increased fees and charges for breaches of the Act.

Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2018

The Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2018 (the Regulations) give effect to the Act. The Regulations prescribe standards, set out the circumstances in which a CHMP should be prepared and set fees and charges. The Regulations should be read in conjunction with the Act.

What is the purpose of the Regulations?

Principally, the Regulations define high impact activities and areas of cultural heritage sensitivity. Where a high impact activity is proposed in an area of cultural heritage sensitivity, a cultural heritage management plan must be prepared to assess the likelihood of, and manage harm to, any Aboriginal cultural heritage in the activity area.

    Reviewed 23 September 2019

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