The Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2021 (ACH Act), was passed by parliament in December 2021. The ACH Act provides a new way of protecting Aboriginal Cultural Heritage by giving Aboriginal people a much stronger say in managing their cultural heritage. The ACH Act will come into effect  from 1 July 2023.

Throughout 2022 a three-phase co-design process was undertaken by the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (DPLH) to develop a set of guidelines to support the Act. These guidelines have been released.

Throughout this co-design process WALGA conducted comprehensive consultation with the Local Government sector on the guidance materials supporting the legislation and made submissions during Phase One,  Phase Two and Phase Three. A clear message from the consultation was that the ACH Act must balance the need to protect Aboriginal cultural heritage with the requirements for Local Government to deliver essential infrastructure works and emergency management activities efficiently and effectively to maintain public safety and comply with its other legislative responsibilities.

DPLH is now facilitating education workshops throughout the State to support the implementation of the new legislation. The workshop will provide an overview of the ACH Act, along with guidelines and regulations, the commencement process and will provide an opportunity for attendees to ask questions.

In partnership with DPLH WALGA facilitated an educational workshop for Local Governments on Wednesday 10 May 2023. The recording and presentation can be found on the links below;

WALGA’s Advocacy Position: 3.1.3 Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2021 and South West Native Title Settlement (December 2022 – 393.8/2022)

Further information about the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act can be found here.