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A discussion paper on the proposed reforms to the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 in Western Australia (WA) was released on 1 May 2012 by the State Government.
The Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (AHA) was originally introduced in WA to protect Aboriginal heritage. The AHA recognises Aboriginal peoples' strong relationships to the land, and provides automatic protection for all places and objects that are important to Aboriginal people because of connections to their culture.
Indigenous Affairs Minister Peter Collier appointed Dr John Avery to initiate a reform process in 2011, which included stakeholder consultation, with the objective of providing better protection for Aboriginal heritage in WA. The Minister announced that seven core principles formed the basis of the proposed reforms - those of greater clarity, certainty, compliance, effectiveness, efficiency, fairness and flexibility. The Minister stated that the adoption of these principles would benefit the current system.
A five week period of consultation is now open on the discussion paper, where native title holders, traditional owners or custodians, stakeholders, and the general public, are invited to submit written comments. A copy of the paper can be found online at the Department of Indigenous Affairs' website.
Source: Department of Indigenous Affairs
Ph: (08) 6552 6300