Minister To Enhance And Recognise Aboriginal Sites

Minister To Enhance And Recognise Aboriginal Sites

Western Australia Minister for Indigenous Affairs Peter Collier

Minister Announces Appointment Of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Consultant

Victor P Taffa

Indigenous Affairs Minister Peter Collier has announced the appointment of an experienced consultant to assist in the reform of Aboriginal cultural heritage processes in Western Australia.

Mr. Collier said Dr. John Avery, director of Indigenous Heritage Law Reform at the Federal Government’s Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, had been appointed for a 12-month term, starting today.

“The State Government will progress a review of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972, with a view to providing better protection for Aboriginal cultural heritage in WA.” Mr. Collier said.

“The rapid economic and population growth being experienced in WA has placed increased demand on the natural environment and on the State’s Aboriginal cultural heritage legislation that has been in use since 1972.”

“It is timely that the Government considers reforms that might improve the protection and preservation of Aboriginal heritage, and assist land users to meet their obligations.”

The Minister said Dr. Avery brought a wealth of valuable experience to this process.

“Dr. Avery’s expertise dates back to 1974 with his commencement of ‘full immersion’ fieldwork with Aborigines in the Northern Territory.” Mr. Collier said.

“He offers more than three decades of professional experience, with many years at a senior level in Government.” Mr. Collier said.

“This has included a post acting as a consultant to the NSW Government, providing a report on native title documents to the NSW Crown Solicitor.”

Dr. Avery will provide advice on possible legislative changes to:

  •  Enhance the recognition and protection of the State’s Aboriginal sites;
  • Promote early decision making as a way to minimise conflicts over the protection of Aboriginal sites in the rapidly developing economy of WA;
  • Administrative measures that are fair and transparent, and deliver certainty to all parties about the decisions;
  • Aligning where appropriate WA Aboriginal heritage laws with Commonwealth laws.

The Department of Indigenous Affairs (DIA) will administer the project, and in his role as consultant on Aboriginal cultural heritage processes, Dr Avery will report to senior officials within the Department of the Premier and Cabinet and DIA.