The Aboriginal Heritage Regulations and Guidelines set out the detail about the operation of the AHA. Practical advice on management of Aboriginal heritage is provided in the following fact sheets:
Aboriginal Heritage Guidelines
- Recognised Aboriginal Representative Bodies
- Division A2 Agreements
- Local Heritage Agreements
- Aboriginal Heritage Registers
- Negotiating in Good Faith
Discovery of Aboriginal Heritage
If you discover an Aboriginal site or object, you must stop any work that may impact the site or object. Leave everything in place and contact Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation on (08) 8226 8900, providing the location and details of the site or object.
If you find skeletal remains, you must stop any work that may impact them, you must not disturb them further, and call the police on 131 444. The police will determine whether they are Aboriginal ancestral remains and if so, you must contact AAR on (08) 8226 8900 to take the appropriate action.
Discovery of Aboriginal Sites and Objects fact sheet (114 KB, PDF)
Management of Aboriginal Heritage
Under section 23 of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988, it is an offence to damage, disturb or interfere with an Aboriginal site, object or remains without an authorisation from the Premier, as the Minister responsible for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation. Early engagement with the relevant Traditional Owners or RARB is encouraged to ensure projects are planned to minimise the risk of damage to Aboriginal heritage. Requests for authorisation under section 21 and section 23 can be submitted to the Premier together with a local heritage agreement made with a RARB.
Project Planning and Aboriginal Heritage fact sheet (126 KB, PDF)
Authorisations and Agreements
From July 2018, online application for authorisation under section 21 and section 23 of the AHA and approval of an Agreement under the AHA will be available through a new AAR Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Register and Information Management System, Taa wika.
As set out in the Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2017 the following applications now attract prescribed fees. From 1 July 2018, the fees are as follows:
- Application for approval of local heritage agreement under section 19I of Act $256.00
- Application for approval of agreement under section 19M of Act $256.00
- Application for authority under section 21 of Act (where no accompanying local heritage agreement) $256.00
- Application for authority under section 23 of Act (where no accompanying local heritage agreement) $256.00
- Application for authority under section 35 of $256.00
Section 8(2) of the Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2017 allows for the Premier to provide exemptions from the prescribed fees to specified persons or bodies. Exemptions have been granted to:
- Aboriginal organisations, as defined under s.3 of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988; and
- Students and researchers who conduct, direct, or assist research into Aboriginal heritage.
Applicants who believe they are eligible for the exemption are required to substantiate this claim by completing the Application for fee exemption.
Application for fee exemption (379 KB, PDF)
For more information phone (08) 8226 8900
- Download: Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988 (193.9 KB PDF)