Have your say on increasing flexibility and efficiency in NSW heritage protection laws

On 13 May 2021, the NSW Legislative Council’s Standing Committee on Social Issues commenced a review of the Heritage Act 1977 (NSW) (Heritage Act). The proposed changes are intended to walk the fine line of making it easier and less expensive to own heritage property while also improving heritage outcomes. A tiered system for heritage protection and additional enforcement options are some of the items for consideration. The Committee is accepting submissions until 27 June 2021. Read more

EPBC Act review – Final Report released

Professor Graeme Samuels has released the Final Report on the Independent Review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act), finding that Australia’s ‘current environmental trajectory is unsustainable’ and that the ‘EPBC Act is ineffective’. The Final Report proposes wide-ranging reforms, including the introduction of legally enforceable National Environmental Standards (NES), … Read more

Consultation on the draft WA Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Bill 2020

After much anticipation, the WA State Government last week released for public consultation the draft Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Bill 2020. Submissions on the Draft Bill are due by 9 October 2020. Here we provide a brief snapshot of the Draft Bill and points for consideration in making a submission. Read more

Introduction of the Native Title Legislation Amendment Bill 2019

On 17 October 2019 the Commonwealth government introduced the Native Title Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 (Cth) (Bill) to amend (amongst other legislation) the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) (NTA). The Bill proposes the same amendments to the Act as an earlier amendment bill introduced in February 2019 and which lapsed with the federal election. The proposed amendments to the NTA are the most substantive since the ‘Wik’ amendments in 1998.  To assist project proponents in understanding the potential impacts of the Bill, the table below sets out proposed key amendments with the likely implications for existing and future development. Read more

Latest on Geraldton and South West native title settlements

Developments have recently occurred in the Geraldton and South West native title settlements. In-principle agreement has been reached for the Geraldton settlement, while a further hearing in the judicial review proceedings relating to the South West settlement has been listed for November 2019. Land users with interests in these regions should follow the progress of the settlements. Read more

Queensland Treaty Negotiations: have your say by 6 December 2019

The Queensland Government is asking the broader Queensland community to weigh in on its ‘Tracks to Treaty’ initiative to create a treaty between the Queensland Government and Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait people. Submissions on any matters raised in the consultation paper close at 5:00pm on 6 December 2019. Read more

UNESCO World Heritage Listing of Aboriginal cultural landscape

Recently, the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape in Victoria became the first site in Australia accepted onto the UNESCO World Heritage List solely for Aboriginal cultural significance. The occasion presents a chance to reflect on what World Heritage listing means and how Australian environmental and cultural heritage legislation applies to Aboriginal cultural landscapes. Read more