WALGA acknowledges the State Government’s decision to repeal the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2021 and restore the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 with amendments.

WALGA President Karen Chappel said that it was important that the State Government provided clarity and certainty on what this reversal means to the activities undertaken by Local Governments.

“We don’t yet have a timeline on the repeal of the existing Act and the implementation of the amended legislation from 1972.  Meanwhile our Councils will be working this week and next, and in the months ahead on building and maintaining roads, verges, median strips, gravel pits, ovals, community facilities and parks.
“The breadth and diversity of the responsibilities and activities undertaken by Local Governments that are affected by Aboriginal heritage legislation exceeds that of any other sector.
“On behalf of our Members, we will be seeking clarity around the transition to a new legislative regime, including its intentions around the application of the existing Act in that transition period.”
WALGA will continue to constructively engage with the State Government on the development of an amended Aboriginal Heritage Act, including through its participation on the Government’s Implementation Group.
“Our Members recognise the importance of protecting and preserving Aboriginal cultural heritage.  The practical application of doing so must be considered in the design of the new legislation to ensure it is workable for Local Governments,” Cr Chappel said.