In Queensland, the primary legislation affording this protection is the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003 (Qld) (ACHA).
This point was noted in submissions to the Victorian Government's 'Review of the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2006' where it was noted that the significant ground disturbance exemption should be removed from that Act "as there may be continuing forms of cultural significance associated with the landscape." (34)
In contrast, the Victorian Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2006 provides that a 'Registered Aboriginal Party' ('RAP') for an area is the only entity authorised to speak for Aboriginal cultural heritage in that area.
(34) Department of Planning and Community Development, Summary Report Review of the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2006, Aug.
(63) Department of Planning and Community Development, Summary Report Review of the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act (2012) available at <http://www.dpcd.vic.gov.au/_data/ assets/pdf_file/0003/115419/DPCD-AHA-Summary-Report-Web-.pdf>.
Principal among these are the Heritage Act 2004 (ACT), Heritage Objects Act 1991 (ACT), Heritage Act 1977 (NSW), National Parks and Wildlife Amendment (Aboriginal Ownership) Act 1996 (NSW), Aboriginal Sacred Sites Act 1989 (NT), Heritage Conservation Act 1991 (NT), Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act
2003 (Qld), Torres Strait Islander Cultural Heritage Act 2003 (Qld), Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988 (SA), Aboriginal Relics Act 1975 (Tas.), Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 (Vic.) and Heritage Act 1994 (Vic.).
The new Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act
has been promulgated (April 2004) at the same time as recent (January 2004) amendments to the Federal Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 that reunite Indigenous and non-Indigenous heritage not only with each other, but also with environmental and landscape management more generally.
They argued that as the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act
2003 makes no express provision for the production of reports as part of the management process, there is no requirement for this, despite what I would have thought was an obvious need both for themselves and others such as regulatory agencies, not to mention Aboriginal groups.