Aboriginal Heritage Council met for their regular monthly meeting on Friday 30
June 2023 in Hobart.
The Council considered four applications for a permit under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1975 and resolved to not oppose any.
The Council invited the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs to attend the meeting. The Minister and Council had a productive meeting covering a range of topics, including the Ministers commitment to Tasmanian Aboriginal people and his response
to questioning in Parliament about offensive claims that there is no such thing as a Tasmanian Aboriginal person. Council members described the deep hurt that these events caused to Tasmanian Aboriginal people and openly shared their personal, lifelong experiences fighting for recognition as Tasmanian Aboriginal people. The Minister provided an extract from Hansard 30 March 2023
that captures his position on the matters raised (pages 27-28).
The Council was briefed by representatives from the Natural and First Nations Heritage Section of the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water on the status of the draft retrospective Statement of Universal Value (rSOUV) for the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA). A Statement of Outstanding Universal Value (SOUV) is a summary of why a World Heritage property is of international importance and is the official statement adopted by the World Heritage Committee at the time a property is included on the World Heritage List. In 1982, when the Tasmanian Wilderness was first included on the World Heritage List, a SOUV was not a requirement. A draft rSOUV
for the TWWHA has since been written and is due to be considered at the 45th Session of the World Heritage Committee in September 2023.
The Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) senior leadership attended the meeting to discuss a range of matters of interest to the Aboriginal Heritage Council. The Council look forward to having more regular briefings from PWS to discuss the many shared concerns and issues regarding the protection of Aboriginal Heritage in Tasmania.
The next Aboriginal Heritage Council meeting will be held on Friday 28 July 2023 in Hobart.