YMAC speaks out on proposed reforms

Posted: May 1st, 2012

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The Minister for Indigenous Affairs has today released a discussion paper on proposed changes to the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972.

There has been no formal consultation on the proposed changes so far, including with Aboriginal people. Now there are just five weeks for the general public to comment on the proposals.

It is YMAC’s view that the proposals focus too much on the approval process for industry and not enough on improving processes for the effective conservation and protection of Aboriginal heritage sites.

Simon Hawkins, YMAC CEO said today, “Aboriginal people are not just another set of stakeholders. This is their heritage and they deserve an opportunity to provide meaningful input into the reform process. I am sceptical about the current process and of course the short timeframe will not allow for those negatively affected to have their say.”

“For Traditional Owners, the current Act is more a licence to destroy heritage than a mechanism to protect it. These proposals will only reinforce this view.”

Click here to download YMAC’s full media release.

Click here for the Department of Indigenous Affairs Discussion Paper