Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006
The Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 (the "Act") commenced operation on 28 May 2007 and provides for the protection and management of Victoria’s Aboriginal heritage with processes linked to the Victorian planning system.
The key features of the Act are:
- the establishment of a Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council to provide a state-wide voice for Aboriginal people and to advise the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs on issues relating to the management of cultural heritage
- the introduction and management of a system of Registered Aboriginal Parties that allows for Aboriginal groups with connections to country to be involved in decision making processes around cultural heritage
- the establishment of Cultural Heritage Management Plans and Cultural Heritage Permit processes to manage activities that may harm Aboriginal cultural heritage
- a system of cultural heritage agreements to support the development of partnerships around the protection and management of Aboriginal cultural heritage
- strengthened provisions relating to enforcement of the Act - including Aboriginal Heritage Protection Declarations and stop orders, and
- clearer powers for Inspectors and increased fees and charges for breaches of the Act.
The Act also has processes for handling dispute resolution. This includes the review of certain decisions through the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).
For documents relating to the administration of the Act see Aboriginal Heritage Act – Guides and forms.
Aboriginal Heritage Regulations
The Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2007 give effect to the Act. The Regulations came into operation on 28 May 2007 and should be read in conjunction with the Act.
The Regulations set out the circumstances in which a Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP) is required to be prepared, and the standards for the preparation of a CHMP.
The Regulations also prescribe standards and set fees and charges.
Aboriginal Heritage Planning Tool
- The Victorian Parliamentary Library Services, The Aboriginal Heritage Bill 2006. Parliamentary Research Service. D-Brief No. 2, 2006.
- The second reading speech and the explanatory memorandum for the Aboriginal Heritage Bill is available on the Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary documents website.
- The Planning permit process