Review of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972

Please note: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images of deceased persons in photographs or printed material.

The Hon Ben Wyatt MLA, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, has announced a review of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (the Act), the legislation that guides the way the State Government protects Aboriginal heritage in Western Australia. The review aims to deliver a contemporary piece of legislation that:

  • promotes the understanding and celebration of Aboriginal cultural heritage through the recognition of significant places and objects
  • provides transparent and easy to understand processes that offer certainty and predictability for stakeholders
  • provides high standards of protection for significant places and objects, while enabling land use.

The review includes three consultation phases:

Consultation Phase One: Release of the Consultation Paper

Targeted questions on key aspects of the Act to help identify the main issues, any gaps in the legislation, and ideas on what modernised legislation should set out to do and how it should operate in the interests of all stakeholders.

The Consultation Paper is the initial opportunity for you to contribute to the review of the Act.  You can also view a Summary of the Consultation Paper .

Phase One of the Aboriginal Heritage Act review is now complete. Submissions on the Consultation Paper, released on 9 March, are no longer being accepted.

Feedback from the Phase One consultation is being analysed and will be used to generate proposals that will be considered by Cabinet then released in a Discussion Paper as part of Phase Two of the public consultation process.

See detailed reports from the 40 independently-facilitated workshop here.

Consultation Phase Two
: Release of a Discussion Paper
Feedback will be sought on a series of proposals on what new legislation should do, as well as some discussion points. This information will help with the drafting of an Exposure Draft Bill (Green Bill).

Consultation Phase Three: The Green Bill will be published for public consultation
Feedback received during Consultation Phase Three will inform the preparation of a new Aboriginal Heritage Amendment Bill that will be introduced into Parliament.

The McGowan Government aims to have an amended Aboriginal Heritage Act passed by both houses of Parliament by the end of 2020.

Visit the Consultation Phase One page to view the Consultation Paper and to find out how to provide feedback. The Consultation Paper should be read in conjunction with the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 and the Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 1974.