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 (Draft Bill).

As expected, the Draft Bill proposes to repeal the existing Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (WA) and replace it with a new Act embodying more modern approaches to heritage management and providing a more comprehensive regulatory and administrative framework.

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WA Environmental Protection Act Reform – Bill Tabled

WA Environmental Protection Act Reform – Bill tabled

Government’s intent to reform the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (WA) (EP Act) has been formalised with the tabling of the Environmental Protection Amendment Bill 2020 (WA) (Bill) on 16 April 2020. The Bill follows the release of an Exposure Draft for public comment in late 2019. Our summary of the aims of the reform and key aspects of the Exposure Draft is accessible here. Continue reading

WA Environmental Protection Act reform – release of exposure draft bill and discussion paper

Yesterday, the draft Environmental Protection Amendment Bill 2019 (Draft Bill) was released for public consultation.

The Draft Bill reflects a wholesale review of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (WA) and proposes the most significant amendments to the Act since it was enacted. All land users in WA whose current and future activities are regulated by the Act should closely follow these reforms. Continue reading

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. A handful of other Australian sites, such as Uluru-Kata Tjuta and Kakadu National Park, are listed for both natural and 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. But first, some background about Budj Bim and the World Heritage List. Continue reading

Update on WA Aboriginal heritage reform

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. Continue reading

Recent WA waste reform activities

By Melanie Debenham, Senior Associate, and Emily Wilson, Senior Associate, Perth

2019 is shaping up to be an active year for waste reform in WA. Below is a snapshot of recent reform initiatives. Continue reading

A new Aboriginal heritage system for WA

By Melanie Debenham, Senior Associate, and Emily Wilson, Solicitor, Perth.

In March 2019, the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs released a discussion paper outlining proposals for reforming the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (WA) (Discussion Paper). Any person with land or project development interests in WA should closely follow the course of these reforms. Continue reading