South West Settlement

On 8 June 2015, six identical Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs) were executed across the South West by the Western Australian Government and, respectively, the Yued, Whadjuk People, Gnaala Karla Booja, Ballardong People, South West Boojarah #2 and Wagyl Kaip and Southern Noongar groups, and the South West Land and Sea Council (SWALSC).

The ILUAs bind the parties (including 'the State', which encompasses all State Government Departments and certain State Government agencies) to enter into a Noongar Standard Heritage Agreement (NSHA) when conducting Aboriginal Heritage Surveys in the ILUA areas, unless they have an existing heritage agreement. It is also intended that other State agencies and instrumentalities enter into the NSHA when conducting Aboriginal Heritage Surveys in the ILUA areas. It is recommended a NSHA is entered into, and an 'Activity Notice' issued under the NSHA, if there is a risk that an activity will ‘impact’ (i.e. by excavating, damaging, destroying or altering in any way) an Aboriginal heritage site. The Aboriginal Heritage Due Diligence Guidelines, which are referenced by the NSHA, provide guidance on how to assess the potential risk to Aboriginal heritage. 

Likewise, from 8 June 2015 the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) in granting Mineral, Petroleum and related Access Authority tenures within the South West Settlement ILUA areas, will place a condition on these tenures requiring a heritage agreement or a NSHA before any rights can be exercised. 

If you are a State Government Department, Agency or Instrumentality, or have a heritage condition placed on your mineral or petroleum title by DMP, you should seek advice as to the requirement to use the NSHA for your proposed activity. The full ILUA documents, maps of the ILUA areas and the NSHA template can be found here.

Further advice can also be sought from the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (DPLH) at heritageenquiries@daa.wa.gov.au.