Aboriginal Heritage Council Meeting

​​​The Aboriginal Heritage Council met for its regular monthly meeting on Friday 26 April 2024 in Hobart.

The Aboriginal Heritage Council considered three applications under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1975 to impact Aboriginal heritage. The Council agreed not to oppose all three permits in its recommendation to the Minister.  One application was for test-pitting to inform a large-scale public development, and two applications related to public works that involved the concealment of Aboriginal heritage.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania’s Water Policy and Planning team provided a briefing on the National Aboriginal Freshwater Initiative Reforms 2024, including an update on: 
  • The Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Water Interests (CAWI) release of an Insights Paper Pathway to enduring recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ water interests in National Water Reform Initiatives​ driven by the following values:
    • Water and land, in all their forms, are interconnected living entities.
    • Self-determination is protected, defined, and realised in water management.
    • Protection of Indigenous Cultural Intellectual Property and knowledge.
    • Recognition of water rights and interests.
    • Enduring access to healthy, quality water.
  • The Development of a new National Water Agreement (public consultation closed on 3 May 2024). More comprehensive consultation will be undertaken in 2025 once Tasmania is a signatory to the new National Water Agreement and will develop a state action plan. 
  • The National Agreement for Closing the Gap: Inland Waters Target (outcome 15c). NRE Tasmania is working with the First Nations Water Branch of DEECCW, other jurisdictions, CAWI and the Coalition of the Peaks to progress the development of an inland waters target. The Council may be contacted as work progresses on this matter mid to late 2024.
For more information go to the Department of Natural Resources and Environment’s Aboriginal freshwater interests website page​

​The Water Policy and Planning team offered to meet with any members of the Council or the Tasmanian Aboriginal community interested in knowing more about work underway (contact via aboriginalheritagecouncil@dpac.tas.gov.au). The AHC noted the update from water policy team and agreed to share the details with their networks.

The Council also received a briefing from World Expeditions regarding a proposed development in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, which was in initial planning stages.   The Council expressed strong concerns not only about potential impacts to sites but also the unavoidable impacts that tourism development has on the intangible heritage and the cultural landscape, particularly in the World Heritage area.

The next Aboriginal Heritage Council meeting will be on Friday 31 May 2024 in Hobart.