Aboriginal Heritage Legislative Changes Fail to Protect

Greens Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Robin Chapple MLC, says that the changes to the Aboriginal Heritage Act, proposed by the Barnett Government, will neither improve protection for Aboriginal heritage places nor adequately involve Aboriginal people in the process. 

“At the end of the day, protection of Aboriginal heritage is what the Act is about but the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Hon. Peter Collier have failed to deliver their oft-repeated promises: that the amendments would give Aboriginal people a stronger voice in respect of heritage protection.

“What the Bill provides for is the transfer of most of the Aboriginal Cultural Material Committee’s functions to the Department of Aboriginal Affairs’ Chief Executive Officer, thereby stripping away their fundamental rights to speak for heritage’ Mr Chapple said.  

“The government has left substantial matters to Regulations, such as what the CEO will and will not consider and the information required before deciding what is left on or taken off the register.

“It is a great pity that the government has not provided draft Regulations along with the draft Bill.  Without draft Regulations, the government’s proposal is incomplete in important respects, and it is therefore unable to be fairly assessment.

“It is disappointing that the Bill omits all of the points that have been repeatedly raised in previous reports on the Act as well as in the 2012 round of submissions; all of which aimed to improve protection for Aboriginal heritage sites and the involvement of Aboriginal people in that process.

“The Greens will not support the Bill in its current form. I urge the community to write a submission on this appalling piece of legislation to the Department of Aboriginal Affairs before 6 August 2014, added Mr Chapple.

For further information go to http://www.robinchapple.com/AHA

For more information please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263 or 9486 8255


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