Country, Culture, People, Future

Law Reform

YMAC has been advocating for several years for legislative reform that will result in a more equitable position for Traditional Owners and a better balance of “give and get”, in agreements.

YMAC believes that consultation rights should be legislated.

Presently and historically, Aboriginal heritage is not treated the same as European built heritage. In this context, if an action can deliver an economic outcome, then development activity appears to override any other interests every time.

Additionally, Aboriginal cultural heritage must be considered throughout a project’s lifecycle – particularly as new information comes to light – both before and after agreements (including existing agreements) have been made.

On 18 August YMAC attended a presentation by the State Government on the latest amendments to the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Bill. The Bill still yet to be seen by the public in its entirety. For more information on YMAC’s response to the presentation click here.

The Annual On-Country Bush Meeting at Yule River is a key event where Aboriginal people come together to discuss their concerns about key issues affecting their communities. The focus of the 2021 meeting ( on 25 and 26 August ) was on the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Bill draft. At this year’s gathering, meeting attendees unanimously rejected support for the Bill. For more information on the meeting outcomes click here

In our Yamatji region, the 2021 Yamatji On-Country Meeting will be held in Carnarvon on 13 and 14 October. As with Yule River, the focus for 2021 will be on the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Bill draft. Visit here again soon for further details.

YMAC continues to advocate for review and reform in important national legislation which impacts the cultural rights and governance capacity of Traditional Owners. These include the Native Title Act 1993 and the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Amendment Bill 2021.

You can see YMAC’s submissions on these topics here, and keep up to date on opportunities to be consulted on policies and legislation impacting your rights by visiting our Blog page.