The Morrison Government today announced an historic partnership with the First Nations Heritage Protection Alliance to strengthen safeguards for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage.
Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley and Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt AM said the new partnership ensured Indigenous Australians would be at the centre of Indigenous Heritage planning.
“The First Nationals Heritage Protection Alliance partnership will develop options to improve the laws, policies and processes that promote and protect our unique indigenous heritage,” Minister Ley said.
“Key to achieving success, will be engagement with states and territories, indigenous Australians, industry and local communities to lift the standard of Indigenous cultural heritage protection.
“Indigenous Heritage Protection remains an all too complex interaction of state, territory and commonwealth law and it needs to be addressed through a national conversation.
“The First Nationals Heritage Protection Alliance currently represents more than thirty Indigenous stakeholder groups and will consult with many others throughout the process.
“This is about the Government working with Indigenous Australians and recognising their right to determine what is important to them.
“Through the round tables and meetings I have held along with the Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt we have been guided by the views of Indigenous voices and this partnership represents an important step forward.”
Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt said that respect for Indigenous Heritage involved respect for the views Indigenous Australians.
“Indigenous Australians should have the right to determine the heritage that is important to them, the ability to access applicable policies and laws to safeguard that heritage, and the choice of how they generate revenue on their land,” Minister Wyatt said.
“As we look to modernise Indigenous protection it is fundamentally important that we are working in partnership with Indigenous Australians and recognising the rights of Traditional Owners to manage their land and Heritage as they deem fit.”
Mr Kado Muir, Ngalia Cultural and Community Leader, Chairman of National Native Title Council and Co-Chair of the First Nations Heritage Protection Alliance welcomes the opportunity to engage in partnership with the Federal Government to co-design with First Australians.
“It is important that our Cultural Heritage Places are recognised and protected on the basis of inherent cultural heritage values, and not as an element of land access and development approvals.” Kado Muir said.
The partnership will conduct a range of formal consultations before developing options to be present to the Australian Government to strengthen Indigenous Heritage safeguards.