Aboriginal site preservation

Information on how to report an Aboriginal site or damage to a site.

How to report a site

To provide information about a possible Aboriginal Site please use the Heritage Information Submission Form.This can also be used to provide additional information about a registered Aboriginal site or other heritage place.

Refer to Aboriginal heritage search if you wish to access online or hardcopy information on Aboriginal sites and other heritage places.

Under section 15 of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 the reporting of a site is compulsory:

Any person who has knowledge of the existence of any thing in the nature of Aboriginal burial grounds, symbols or objects of sacred, ritual or ceremonial significance, cave or rock paintings or engravings, stone structures or arranged stones, carved trees, or of any other place or thing to which this Act applies or to which this Act might reasonably be suspected to apply shall report its existence to the Registrar, or to a police officer, unless he has reasonable cause to believe the existence of the thing or place in question to be already known to the Registrar.

How to report damage

Offences in relation to Aboriginal sites

Preservation of Aboriginal sites and objects is afforded by Section 17 of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 and Regulations 6 to 10 of the Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 1974 which create offences.

An offence against the AHA by an individual is, depending on the circumstances, punishable by monetary penalties and imprisonment. An offence against the Regulations is punishable by a monetary penalty. An offence by a body corporate is punishable by a monetary fine and company officers may, in defined circumstances, also be charged.

How to report an offence

If you discover or suspect an offence against the AHA or Regulations, please report it as soon as possible to the department through a Complaint Registration Form. We can assist you with completing the form and ask that you contact us on (08) 6551 8100 or compliance@dplh.wa.gov.au.

The department can only investigate an incident if it happened within the past 12 months. Your details will remain confidential but, if the matter goes to court, you may be asked to give evidence.

Page last reviewed 22 November 2018
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