14 December

Arts Law submission on Tasmanian Aboriginal Heritage Protection Bill

On 12 December 2012, Arts Law made a submission to the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water & Environment in regards to the draft Aboriginal Heritage Protection Bill 2012 (the draft Bill). 

The draft Bill primarily addresses the need to modernise the out-dated current legislation dealing with Aboriginal heritage in Tasmania, the Aboriginal Relics Act 1975, and will replace that Act once finalised.

View Arts Law article on the release of the exposure draft for public comment.

Arts Law supports the development of the draft Bill to improve management and protection of Aboriginal heritage in Tasmania.  Arts Law's submission makes a general comment that the draft Bill only addresses one aspect of Aboriginal cultural heritage, specifically objects, place and human remains, and that full protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage cannot be achieved without further reform of existing property and intellectual property regimes.

Arts Law's submission also makes the following recommendations:

  • to reflect the principles enshrined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the draft Bill should make Ministerial consultation with the Aboriginal Heritage Council (the Council) mandatory in relation to all third party activities affecting Aboriginal places and objects,
  • appointments to the Council by the Minister to be made in consultation with peak Aboriginal cultural organisations,
  • the Minister should be obliged to consult the Council when approving Aboriginal Heritage Permits, Aboriginal Heritage Management Plans and External Applications,
  • exemptions to Aboriginal Heritage Management Plans to be determined by or in consultation with the Council,
  • the Council to be allowed to provide written reports on its concerns to the Minister in the case of ongoing disagreements between the Council and applicants for Aboriginal Heritage Management Plans,
  • the Council evaluation deadlines for Aboriginal Heritage Management Plans to be extended,
  • subsequent owners of land where an Aboriginal Heritage Agreement existed are obliged to negotiate a new agreement with the Council, and
  • the Council to be involved in any acquisition of Aboriginal places.

View Arts Law's submission to the Tasmanian Government.