March 10, 2022
Roger Jaensch, Minister of Indigenous Affairs
The Liberal Government of Tasmania recognizes the importance of Tasmania’s Aboriginal cultural heritage to Tasmanian Aborigines and all Tasmanians.
It deserves to be recognized and protected by effective and modern laws that respect its importance and help indigenous peoples to exercise their role as guardians.
Today I am pleased to release a consultation paper which marks the next step in our Government’s action to introduce new legislation to better protect Tasmania’s Indigenous cultural heritage.
Our government has completed a review of Tasmania’s current system Aboriginal Heritage Act 1975 last year, which culminated in the tabling of a review report in Parliament.
The overwhelming conclusion of the review was that the legislation was outdated and needed to be replaced. Our government has accepted these findings and is committed to developing new legislation as a priority.
The consultation paper outlines our government’s proposed approach to key elements of new Indigenous heritage legislation, based on the findings of the review report.
We are clear and transparent about our proposals and welcome feedback from Tasmanian Indigenous Peoples and the wider Tasmanian community.
One of the most important proposals is that the new legislation should clearly recognize the indigenous peoples of Tasmania as the rightful custodians of their cultural heritage.
To this extent, we also propose that the new legislation provide for a strengthened Indigenous Heritage Council which will have decision-making powers on matters such as:
- what constitutes indigenous cultural heritage;
- repatriation process;
- the granting of permits for interference with or damage to indigenous cultural heritage; and
- approval of Indigenous cultural heritage management plans for complex activities that pose a risk to Indigenous cultural heritage.
My commitment is to listen carefully to all views and to bring forward legislation that is effective and balanced and, above all, that provides for the contemporary management and conservation of Tasmania’s unique Aboriginal heritage by the rightful custodians of that heritage – the Aboriginal people of Tasmania.
A six-week consultation period will continue until Sunday, April 24, 2022. After this consultation stage, we will use the feedback provided to develop a draft law, which will undergo further consultation, to ensure that we let’s get this important legislation. law.
The consultation document and further information on this consultation phase can be found on the Department’s website: https://nre.tas.gov.au/about-the-department/aboriginal-heritage-act.
Written submissions can also be made to [email protected]
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