As I mentioned last post, for my directed study in Cultural Heritage Management I am working with Griffith University’s Indigenous Research Network to attempt to find answers to some of the many concerns and issues that arose as part of Griffith’s whole of university approach to the development and implementation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander undergraduate curricula.
My current work with the New South Wales Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW) in their Environmental Protection and Regulation Group (EPRG) based in Coffs Harbour has seen me back to witness the roll out of the new Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Consultation Requirements for Proponents – Part 6 National and Wildlife Act 1974, released for immediate implementation on the 12/04/2010. The consultation workshops as part of the review prior to the release of the new requirements was commenced in early 2008 during my last period of employment with the Department.
The new requirements came from a long process and included the release of interim guidelines in 2005 as well as the extensive consultation with Aboriginal stakeholders and others across the NSW. The purpose was to provide a level of legal regulation around the consultation expected with Aboriginal groups prior to proposed impact to Aboriginal objects or places.
The new guidelines which are available on the DECCW website provides only regulation of proposed development that may require an Aboriginal Heritage Impact Permit (AHIP) it is not binding on the other planning process that have the potential to impact Aboriginal cultural heritage in NSW, though they are strongly recommended as a best practice procedure.
How well the new requirements will identify and engage with the appropriate people to speak for Country in any proposed development will have to be seen as times goes on.