The department is responsible for protecting Aboriginal heritage, assisting with compliance with the Act and providing access to heritage information.

The department works with Aboriginal people to promote their culture and to protect and manage places and objects of significance to Aboriginal heritage. The department is responsible for: 

Protecting Aboriginal heritage
Under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (AHA), the department works with Aboriginal people to protect and manage places of significance, provides advice to the public and private sectors about Aboriginal heritage management and maintains the Register of Places and Objects. The department also administers a grants program that provides funding for Aboriginal communities to protect and promote their heritage sites. 

Assisting with compliance with the AHA
The department works with developers and land users to raise awareness and to ensure that Aboriginal heritage and engagement with Aboriginal people are built into development planning processes. In situations where impact to a site cannot be avoided, the department processes lodged Section 18 notices that seek approval from the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs.

Providing access to heritage information
Access to departmental information on registered Aboriginal sites and other heritage places is made available via the Aboriginal Heritage Inquiry System (AHIS). The department can arrange access to specific heritage files and reports as long as they do not contain confidential information, or if they do, appropriate permissions have been sought.

Page last reviewed 22 November 2018
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