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Consultation key to preserving cultural heritage

In its submission to the State Government the LGAQ have emphasised the importance of consultation in preserving indigenous cultural heritage.

The submission, in response to the Cultural Heritage Duty of Care Guidelines review, provided three key recommendations to the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships.

Those recommendations included the view that appropriate effort should be made by the State Government to ensure all indigenous cultural heritage is appropriately recorded, that the State Government engage in appropriate consultation and that the inter-relationship between the Australian Cultural Heritage Act (ACHA) and the Planning Act (PA) be duly recognised.

In the submission, the LGAQ said preserving Indigenous Cultural heritage required a considered mix of practical measures and cultural sensitivity,

“Local governments and the LGAQ are supportive of the intent to ensure the Guidelines define reasonable and practicable measures to avoid or minimize harm to Indigenous cultural heritage.”

“Nonetheless, local governments and the LGAQ stress the significant importance of balancing consultation with timely and efficient processes for local governments to fulfil their duty of care while also meeting their obligations.”

The submission also highlighted that when a response had not been received from the relevant Indigenous party regarding cultural heritage that the department should make further efforts to engage with Indigenous identifying individuals who reside locally but are not necessarily members of a Registered Native Title Body Corporate but have detailed knowledge of the existing and residual local Indigenous cultural heritage.