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Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 and the Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2018

Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2018

The Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2018 commence on 23 May 2018, and replace the Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2007.

The Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2018 were informed by a Regulatory Impact Statement and Aboriginal Victoria’s Review of the Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2007.

What is the purpose of the Regulations?

The Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2018 give effect to the Act. The Regulations prescribe standards, set out the circumstances in which a Cultural Heritage Management Plan should be prepared and set fees and charges. The Regulations should be read in conjunction with the Act.

Principally, the Regulations define high impact activities and areas of cultural heritage sensitivity. Where a high impact activity is proposed in an area of cultural heritage sensitivity, a cultural heritage management plan must be prepared to assess the likelihood of, and manage harm to, any Aboriginal cultural heritage in the activity area.

What has changed with the introduction of the Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2018?

The new Regulations are substantially similar to the former Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2007 with several key changes. These are:

  • nature conservation reserves defined under the Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978 are areas of cultural heritage sensitivity
  • the definition of ‘waterway’ explicitly includes channelised sections of named waterways
  • areas of cultural heritage sensitivity related to geological formations are more accurately mapped by relying on the recently published Surface Geology of Victoria 1:250,000 map book
  • the listed high impact activities include residential buildings (such as residential hotels and hostels) and residential villages
  • the prescribed fees more accurately compensate the decision maker for expenses in carrying out prescribed functions which incur a fee.

Other changes include the addition of strategic fuel breaks as a high impact activity, and an increase to the length of walking and bicycle tracks that require a cultural heritage management plan.

Are there any changes to Aboriginal Victoria’s guides, forms or practice notes?

Aboriginal Victoria’s guides, forms and practice notes will be updated to account for the changes in the Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2018, as will the indicative mapping of cultural heritage sensitivity on the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Register and Information System (ACHRIS). The fees charged by Aboriginal Victoria through ACHRIS will also be updated to reflect the fee units set out in the Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2018.

Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006

The Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 acts primarily to provide for the protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage in Victoria.

The Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2018 gives effect to the Act. The Regulations prescribe standards, set out the circumstances in which a Cultural Heritage Management Plan should be prepared and set fees and charges. The Regulations should be read in conjunction with the Act.

Who and what helps carry out the Act?

This Act allows several different organisations, groups and bodies to connect and better enforce and preserve policies regarding Aboriginal Heritage. It does this through:

Contact us

For inquiries relating to the administration of the Act, email Aboriginal.Heritage@dpc.vic.gov.au or phone 1800 762 003.