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Review of Tasmanian Aboriginal Heritage Protection Bill completed


A  review of the Aboriginal Heritage Protection Bill by a Tasmanian Legislative Council Committee has been completed and the Tasmanian Aboriginal Heritage, Environment, Parks and Heritage Minister Brian Wightman has stated his hopes that it will result in a new Aboriginal Heritage Act for Tasmania.


 “Our Government has recognised the importance of providing the Aboriginal community with a clear, statutory role in the protection and management of their heritage,” Mr Wightman said.


“At the same time we recognised the need for clearer procedures and greater certainty for landowners and developers who might have Aboriginal heritage sites on their land.


“We also recognised there was a need to put in place an Act that reflected a contemporary approach to managing our State’s rich Aboriginal heritage. We believe this Bill has the balance right.”


The  Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment has undertaken a consultative program over the past two years.


Mr Wightman said the Bill clarified responsibilities for protecting Aboriginal heritage, encouraged the early identification of Aboriginal heritage issues, ensured appropriate consultation, and aimed to ensure consistency and certainty in decision-making.


“Importantly as well this Bill established an Aboriginal Heritage Council comprised of up to nine Aboriginal people appointed on the basis of relevant knowledge, experience or expertise, to provide a state-wide voice for Aboriginal people on the management of their heritage,” Mr Wightman said.


An Interim Aboriginal Heritage Council was established last November to provide advice on aboriginal heritage and the review of the Bill.


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