ABORIGINAL HERITAGE ACT 1972 — HERITAGE
240. Hon ROBIN CHAPPLE
to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs:
I refer to part (l) of the answer to
question on notice 2195, asked by me of the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs in
the Legislative Council on Tuesday, 18 November 2014, which states the
Department of Aboriginal Affairs' Aboriginal Cultural Material
Committee's new interpretation that mythological sites or places are no
longer sites to which section 5 of the Aboriginal Heritage Act applies. I also
refer to the answer to question without notice 204, asked by me of the Minister
for Aboriginal Affairs in the Legislative Council on Thursday, 12 March 2015,
which states that mythological sites have previously been accepted on their mythological
values by the ACMC, as evidenced in the answer in relation to the Weebo site,
and on the Aboriginal site recording form for site 30274.
(1) When did the
ACMC stop recognising mythological sites as places to which section 5 of the
(2) How many
sites have been deregistered since the State Solicitor's Office advice
given in relation to section 5(b), as referenced in an email dated 14 November
2012 at 3.14 pm from Kathryn
Przywolnik to Simon Keenan, copied to Aaron Rayner and Christine Lewis?
(3) How many
sites or places have not been accepted as sites to which the AHA applies since
that SSO advice was given?
(4) If sites
have been deregistered, how many staff have been allocated by the department to
carry out this work?
PETER COLLIER replied:
I thank the member for some notice of this question.
association of a mythology alone with an Aboriginal heritage place does not
mean that place is necessarily a sacred site. For a place to be considered a
sacred site, it must be demonstrated that it is devoted to a religious use
rather than just a place subject to mythological story, song or belief. At its
meeting of 21 November 2012, the Aboriginal Cultural Material Committee
considered and applied the State Solicitor's Office advice dated 1 November
(2) Since 1
November 2012, 22 5(b) sites have changed status to ''not a site''
as a result of evaluation by the Aboriginal Cultural Material Committee as part
of the section 18 application process.
(3) It is the
responsibility of the Aboriginal Cultural Material Committee to assess whether
places and objects meet the criteria under section 5 of the Aboriginal Heritage
Act 1972. The Aboriginal Cultural Material Committee does not assess sites by
looking at any subsection of section 5 in isolation. Between 2012–13
and 2013–14, the Aboriginal Cultural Material Committee considered 184
section 18 applications and 1 776 heritage places. Department of Aboriginal
Affairs staff will have to manually go through 1 960 files to obtain the
information requested. The staff resources required to collect the information
requested cannot be justified.