More Resources To Protect Victoria’s Aboriginal Heritage

The Andrews Labor Government is expanding protection of Victoria’s valuable Aboriginal heritage.

To mark 2017 NAIDOC Week, the Labor Government will provide $4.7 million for Registered Aboriginal Parties (RAPs) to employ ten new compliance officers.

The compliance officers will be based in local RAP organisations and protect the more than 39,000 registered Aboriginal cultural heritage places in Victoria.

Funding comes from the Victorian Budget 2017/18 and includes further training for compliance officers to become Aboriginal Heritage Officers with greater statutory enforcement powers.

These powers support more front line protection for Victoria’s Aboriginal cultural heritage, such as issuing improvement notices and 24-hour stop orders for works likely to harm Aboriginal cultural heritage.

The Labor Government established Aboriginal Heritage Officers in 2016 following recommendations from the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 review and the 2012 Parliamentary Inquiry into the Establishment and Effectiveness of RAPs.

In 2016, Victoria became the first state in Australia and one of the first jurisdictions in the world to provide legal protection for Aboriginal languages and other forms of intangible heritage.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Natalie Hutchins

“We’re advancing the self-determination of Aboriginal Victorians and putting Traditional Owners across Victoria at the forefront of protecting their own heritage.”

“This funding will help protect the nearly 40,000 registered Aboriginal cultural heritage places in Victoria.”

“Victoria’s Aboriginal heritage is so important to who we are as a state and we’re ensuring it is protected for generations to come.”