The Helena River is one of many registered Aboriginal cultural heritage sites across the state. Picture: Gera Kazakov

Community workshops cost state government 

The state government has revealed some of the costs behind the 2021 Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act.
October 26, 2023
Gera Kazakov

THE Aboriginal Heritage Legislation Amendment and Repeal Bill 2023 has passed parliament as the state government admits it has spent more than $1 million on the 2021 Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act roll out.

After the Upper House third reading was agreed to on October 17, Upper House leader and Labor South Metropolitan MLC Sue Ellery, representing Aboriginal Affairs Minister Tony Buti, was questioned by Liberal Mining and Pastoral MLC Neil Thomson on the costs associated with the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2021.

Ms Ellery said the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage had spent $890,920 on community workshops, and the Department of Premier and Cabinet had spent $445,866 on costs associated with 2021 Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act’s development.

In relation to the community workshops, Ms Ellery said they provided consultation and community feedback which informed the updated bill.

During the second reading of the bill in the Upper House, the opposition alliance again tried to split the bill to allow for the immediate repeal of the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2021.

Mr Thomson moved a motion without notice on October 10 to try and split the bill, but the motion was lost with nine in favour and 17 sitting members voting against.

Dr Buti said as the bill has passed through parliament the government will be looking to implement the new system as soon as practically possible.

“We listened to community feedback and worked to keep the restored process for managing and protecting Aboriginal cultural heritage simple – to focus on important amendments that will prevent another Juukan Gorge tragedy.”

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