Queensland’s Indigenous Cultural Heritage legislation (the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003 and the Torres Strait Islander Cultural Heritage Act 2003) aim to protect historically, culturally or archaeologically significant items or areas of Aboriginal and Torres Strait heritage.
These Acts impose a duty of care on people carrying out activities near significant Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander areas. The Acts also include provisions for the creation of management plans to deal with areas of cultural heritage and penalty provisions for breaches.
The Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) is currently finalising its review of Queensland’s Indigenous Cultural Heritage legislation. While the Department has been conducting public consultations about the proposed changes since 2008, submissions are currently being sought in respect of the proposed changes which aim to improve the efficiency of the legislation in protecting cultural heritage.
Proposed changes include:
• Transferring the Minister for Natural Resources’ decision making powers of refusing Cultural Heritage Agreements, Cultural Heritage Studies and Cultural Heritage Management plans to the Land Court of Queensland,
• Transferring the Minister’s decision making powers for the objections process regarding the recording of items in the Cultural Heritage Register to the Land Court of Queensland,
• Clarifying the process of agreement making between Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander parties and sponsor parties, and
• Amending administrative aspects of the Acts.
Submissions on the proposed changes close on 31 January 2011 and can be made to:
Department of Environment and Resource Management
Attention of: Strategic Policy
Level 8, 400 George Street Reply Paid 2454 BRISBANE QLD 4001
Links to the relevant pages on the Department’s website are included below.
Summary of the legislation: http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/cultural_heritage/legislation/summary.html%20
Information on making a submission: http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/cultural_heritage/legislation/index.html%20