Aboriginal Heritage Council Meeting

​The Aboriginal Heritage Council met for their regular monthly meeting on Friday 28 July 2023 in Hobart.

The Council considered three applications for a permit under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1975 and resolved to oppose one of the applications on the basis that destruction to Aboriginal heritage was the result of inappropriate management of residential developments. The Council are determined that Aboriginal heritage should not be a secondary consideration to the resolution of design concerns. The Council urged 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 Council was briefed by representatives from The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Precinct from Canberra on the progress and timelines of the Ngurra project, including a conceptual ‘fly through’ of the proposed development. 

Ngurra precinct will comprise two key elements: 
  • A National Indigenous Knowledge and Cultural Centre, providing a venue for local and national engagement and discussion, and contribute to reconciliation, support truth-telling, and healing. 
  • A National Resting Place to house and care for repatriated limited provenance ancestral remains and any associated cultural material on their journey back to Country.  
​It will also house, protect, and increase access to one of the world’s largest collections of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural and heritage items, potentially attracting between 250,00 and 500,000 visitors each year. 

The Ngurra team committed to ongoing consultation with the AHC and other Aboriginal people in Tasmania.

Aboriginal Heritage Tasmania provided an update to Council on their project to undertake digital recording of several Aboriginal cultural heritage sites and surrounding landscapes in the Western Tasmania Aboriginal Cultural Landscape, which is funded through the Australian Heritage Grants Program. The project uses high-resolution data acquisition techniques to create baseline data and inform ongoing management of the cultural values in this important National Heritage listed landscape, where there are over 800 recorded Aboriginal cultural heritage sites.

The Council were impressed by the breadth and detail of vital baseline data recorded by this technology and noted its further potential as a powerful tool for education, awareness and engagement.  

Representatives from Heritage Tasmania attended the meeting to discuss shared commitments to Dhawura Ngilan and shared approaches to history and heritage protection. 

The next Aboriginal Heritage Council meeting will be held on Friday 25 August 2023 in Hobart.