YMAC has long advocated on behalf of Traditional Owners – in particular, its members and clients – for stronger protections in relation to cultural heritage, and we remain committed to doing so.
More recently, this work focused on YMAC sharing its concerns and deep frustrations over the State Government’s sudden decision to repeal the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2021 (WA) and its reintroduction of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (WA) with some amendments.
Despite YMAC’s and others’ efforts to have further, reasonable amendments introduced, the State Government’s proposed Aboriginal Heritage Legislation Amendment and Repeal Bill 2023 (WA) was assented to by the Governor on Tuesday, 24 October 2023.
On Wednesday, 15 November 2023, the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (WA) was restored as the legislation that manages Aboriginal cultural heritage in Western Australia.
Additional, related information, including the associated regulations, guidelines, and other policy documents are accessible here. This includes the Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 1974 (WA), as well as the State Government’s Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 Guidelines and Consultation policy for section 18 applications.
While this process and its outcome are highly disappointing, YMAC remains determined in pursuing better cultural heritage protection outcomes than what are contained in the recycled 1972 act (e.g. through best practice agreement-making), as well as educating proponents and the broader community on the significance and value of cultural heritage (e.g. producing publications and other resources to be hosted on our website and utilised in our heritage work).
Please check back regularly for additional updates on YMAC’s work in this space.