Aboriginal people have lived in Australia for over 40,000 years. They have developed a rich cultural heritage which continues to have great importance to them and to the nation as a whole.
NSW laws to protect Aboriginal cultural heritage were first enacted in 1969, and these provisions were incorporated into the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974. For decades, Aboriginal people and communities have argued for reform. In 2010, the NSW Government commenced a process to create new stand-alone legislation to protect Aboriginal cultural heritage. In September 2013, the Government rel eased a proposed model for consultation. The reforms are still being finalised.
This e-brief presents a summary of the existing laws in NSW, the proposed reforms, and some selected stakeholder views. Commonwealth and other State laws are also briefly discussed.