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Are we there yet? A review of proposed Aboriginal cultural heritage laws in New South Wales, Australia

Journal Article


Abstract


  • This article examines the extent to which a recent law reform initiative in New South Wales (NSW), Australia-the draft Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Bill 2018 (NSW)-advances the general principles outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). The examination reveals some improvements on the current legal framework and some concerning proposals that distance the NSW government from the UNDRIP principles. Key concerns include a proposed transfer of administrative responsibility to Aboriginal bodies with no corresponding guarantee of funding; the continued vesting of key decision-making powers in government; inept provisions for the protection of secret knowledge; and lower penalties for harming cultural heritage than for related offences in existing environmental and planning legislation. Given the bill's weaknesses, the article explores pragmatic alternatives to better advance the UNDRIP principles.

Publication Date


  • 2021

Citation


  • Lingard, K., Stoianoff, N. P., Wright, E., & Wright, S. (2021). Are we there yet? A review of proposed Aboriginal cultural heritage laws in New South Wales, Australia. International Journal of Cultural Property, 28(1), 107-135. doi:10.1017/S0940739120000284

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85104159372

Start Page


  • 107

End Page


  • 135

Volume


  • 28

Issue


  • 1

Abstract


  • This article examines the extent to which a recent law reform initiative in New South Wales (NSW), Australia-the draft Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Bill 2018 (NSW)-advances the general principles outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). The examination reveals some improvements on the current legal framework and some concerning proposals that distance the NSW government from the UNDRIP principles. Key concerns include a proposed transfer of administrative responsibility to Aboriginal bodies with no corresponding guarantee of funding; the continued vesting of key decision-making powers in government; inept provisions for the protection of secret knowledge; and lower penalties for harming cultural heritage than for related offences in existing environmental and planning legislation. Given the bill's weaknesses, the article explores pragmatic alternatives to better advance the UNDRIP principles.

Publication Date


  • 2021

Citation


  • Lingard, K., Stoianoff, N. P., Wright, E., & Wright, S. (2021). Are we there yet? A review of proposed Aboriginal cultural heritage laws in New South Wales, Australia. International Journal of Cultural Property, 28(1), 107-135. doi:10.1017/S0940739120000284

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85104159372

Start Page


  • 107

End Page


  • 135

Volume


  • 28

Issue


  • 1