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Major Focus on Protecting Aboriginal Heritage

Thu 17 May 2012

Brian Wightman

Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage

The State Budget provides $780,000 in 2012-13 to help assess, protect and manage Aboriginal heritage in Tasmania.

The funding will help progress comprehensive legislation to go before Parliament next year.

"We must have Aboriginal heritage laws that are fair, balanced and modern," Mr Wightman said.

"That's why developing new Aboriginal heritage legislation is a key focus of the Government, through DPIPWE, in 2012-13.

"This budget allocation, and the legislative process it will fund, will improve the protection and management of Aboriginal heritage, as well as providing clarity for landowners and developers.

"It will also provide an integral role for the Aboriginal community in the management of their heritage," he said.

Funding will go towards:

  • Developing the new legislation and associated regulations;
  • Consulting with the Aboriginal community, other key stakeholders, and the wider community on the new laws; and
  • Implementing the laws.

The forward estimates of $600,000 per year reflect additional resources required for ongoing management of the new legislation.

Mr Wightman said the views of the Aboriginal community and other stakeholders are playing an important part in developing the legislation.

"We want to ensure that the final legislation takes on board the many values that are held," Mr Wightman said.

Some consultation has already occurred, and is informing development of the draft bill. That Bill is the basis for a full community consultation process which we expect to happen later this year.

The Government hopes to introduce the new Aboriginal Heritage legislation in the House of Assembly in autumn next year.     

Major Focus on Protecting Aboriginal Heritage