By Melanie Debenham, Senior Associate, and Emily Wilson, Senior Associate, Perth
Yesterday, the WA Minister for Aboriginal Affairs publicly announced that a draft bill to reform WA’s Aboriginal heritage legislation will be made available for public comment in early 2020.
The Minister’s media release indicated that overwhelming support was received by Aboriginal groups, community stakeholders, the mining sector and local governments for the current Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (WA) to be replaced by a new Act.
Any person with land or project development interests in WA should closely follow these reforms. The Minister’s media release does not indicate the extent to which the reform proposals set out in the discussion paper released in March 2019 will be reflected in the draft bill. Information about those proposals, and potential implications for land users, can be found in our article ‘A new Aboriginal heritage system for WA’ .