NSW Draft Bill on Proposed System for Management and Conservation of Aboriginal Heritage

Friday 4 May 2018 @ 10.06 a.m. | Legal Research

The consultation period for the draft bill, the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Bill 2018 (NSW) (‘the draft Bill’), closed on 20 April 2018. The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage originally released this draft Bill in late 2017, as part of the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage in New South Wales: Public consultation, for the purpose of introducing a new system for managing and conserving Aboriginal cultural heritage.

Proposed Aims

According to the Fact Sheet released by the NSW Government, the new system established by the draft Bill proposes to deliver on five aims. These are the:

  • Creation of broader recognition of Aboriginal cultural heritage;
  • Implementation of decision-making by Aboriginal people by creating new governance structures to give Aboriginal people legal responsibility for Aboriginal Cultural Heritage;
  • Improvement of outcomes for cultural heritage through new information management systems;
  • Provision of broader protection and strategic conversation of aboriginal cultural heritage values;
  • Provision of better upfront information to support assessments, clearer consultation process and timeframes.

In the Minister’s Foreword included in the document entitled A proposed new legal framework, Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Gabrielle Upton and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Sarah Mitchell stated:

"The draft Bill is our next major step. It will present a transformative, contemporary and respectful vision for the management of Aboriginal cultural heritage in New South Wales. It will explicitly recognise Aboriginal custodianship of ACH, and afford Aboriginal people genuine decision-making authority. It will establish clearer pathways for assessing ACH values in the landscape, and offer more flexible and effective conservation and management options. In short, it will offer better outcomes for ACH conservation and greater certainty for development interests."

TimeBase is an independent, privately owned Australian legal publisher specialising in the online delivery of accurate, comprehensive and innovative legislation research tools including LawOne and unique Point-in-Time Products. Nothing on this website should be construed as legal advice and does not substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel.


[draft] Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Bill 2018 (NSW), and associated explanatory material, available on TimeBase's LawOne service.

Aboriginal Cultural Heritage in New South Wales: Public consultation (23 April 2018). NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.

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