Aboriginal Heritage Council Meeting

‚ÄčThe Aboriginal Heritage Council met for their regular monthly meeting on Thursday 28 March 2024 in Hobart.

The Aboriginal Heritage Council had a very full permit agenda this meeting and were asked to consider six applications under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1975 to impact Aboriginal heritage. 

Of the six permit applications, the Council agreed not to oppose three permits that related to the installation of a power pole, urgent public amenity works and upgrades to a public walking track. The remaining three permits, all related to larger-scale public infrastructure works, were opposed by the Council.

While the Aboriginal Heritage Council considers each permit application on a case-by-case basis and does not oppose all applications to impact Aboriginal heritage, the Council does remain opposed to the destruction of the Tasmanian landscape as it holds tangible and intangible Aboriginal heritage that connects the Tasmanian Aboriginal community to our ancestors. The Council promotes genuine consideration, protection, and management of Aboriginal heritage values early in the planning process in order to prevent these connections being continually destroyed without due respect and recognition.

The Council raised concerns about the destruction of ochre deposits during road works overseen by the Department of State Growth. The Council expressed continued frustration at the inadequacy of the current Aboriginal Heritage Act 1975 which does not recognise ochre deposits or other culturally important resources, such as muttonbirds, as Aboriginal heritage. This is despite the fact these often finite and increasingly scarce resources remain highly significant to Aboriginal people. 

Again, the Council urge the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and the Government to expedite amendments to the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1975 to ensure improved protection of Aboriginal heritage in Tasmania.

The next Aboriginal Heritage Council meeting will be on Friday 26 April 2024 in Hobart.