Audio: Long awaited Aboriginal Heritage Bill disappoints

Nov 12, 2013, 08:34 AM

Damien Brown ABC Hobart 18 October 2013

A new bill has been tabled in Parliament this week. The Aboriginal Heritage Protection Bill is designed to protect the Aboriginal community with a clear statutory role in the protection and management of their heritage. It's also designed to provide landowners and developers with clearer procedures and greater certainty than the current system, a system that dates back to 1975.

To tell us more about the Bill, Damien Brown spoke to Legal officer for the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, Michael Mansell.

Michael told Damien that the Bill is "a shock and a disappointment because we have been waiting now 18 years since the Liberal government talked to us in 1995 and said look, we're going to have to give you a new Aboriginal Heritage legislation that's equivalent of the European heritage leg so it'll be an independent body that will protect Aboriginal heritage and even Governments will have to get permission and so on. When this Bill came out, it's the only piece of environmental and planning legislation in Tasmania that is not put out to an independent body. This is kept in the hands of the government. The biggest threat to Aboriginal heritage in Tasmania is from the Government, not the public..."