Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2018 Now in Operation

The new Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2018 came into effect on 23 May 2018. These replace the Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2007 following a review by Aboriginal Victoria.

The objective of the review was to ensure that any new regulations would be more efficient and effective in their application, and in their role of protecting Aboriginal heritage. The associated costs imposed by the regulations were also examined.The 2018 Regulations are broadly similar to their previous version, although there are key changes that industry should be aware of.

Key Changes

  • Extending areas of cultural heritage sensitivity to nature conservation reserves defined under the Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978
  • Updates to the definition of waterway to explicitly include channelised sections of named waterways
  • Revisions to areas of cultural heritage sensitivity
  • Extension of the listed high impact activities to include strategic fuel breaks, residential buildings (such as residential hotels and hostels) and residential villages
  • An increase to the length of bike tracks and pathways that require a Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP)

Updates to guides, forms and practice notes are yet to follow. Fee units charged through the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Register and Information System (ACHRIS) have also been increased with the new Regulations.

Industry Update

If you have existing projects, particularly those relating to the preparation of a CHMP, please be aware that if Aboriginal cultural heritage is identified, site registrations must be submitted and verified by Aboriginal Victoria before a CHMP can be submitted for evaluation.

At present you should allow at least 10 weeks for site registrations to be processed and verified by Aboriginal Victoria, and at least two weeks for field work. Once a CHMP is submitted, a further 30 days for the statutory evaluation period is required.

We encourage you to contact one of our registered heritage advisors to commence the CHMP process as early as possible in the planning and approval stages of a project. 

Further Information

Our experienced team of over 30 heritage advisors have completed 1000's of projects and more than 350 cultural heritage management plans across Victoria.

For more information about the new Regulations, or to discuss the potential impact of these changes on projects (e.g. timelines and fees), please contact our team on 1300 839 325.


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