Cultural heritage places and objects associated with Aboriginal society are a significant part of the heritage of all Australians.
The Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 provides protection for all Aboriginal places, objects and human remains in Victoria regardless of their inclusion in the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register or land tenure. The Act provides a consistent approach to protecting and managing Aboriginal cultural heritage as well as clear guidance to planners and developers about when and how Aboriginal cultural heritage management issues need to be considered.
The Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2007 give effect to the Act. The Regulations set out the circumstances in which a Cultural Heritage Management Plan is required to be prepared.
Further information is available from the Office of Aboriginal Affairs Victoria.
WHAT IS AN ABORIGINAL OBJECT?
Aboriginal object means:
(a) an object that relates to the Aboriginal occupation of any part of Australia, whether or not the object existed prior to the occupation of that part of Australia by people of non-Aboriginal descent, and is of cultural heritage significance to Aboriginal people; or
(b) an object, material or thing that is removed or excavated from an Aboriginal place; and is of cultural heritage significance to Aboriginal people.
It does not include:
(c) An object that has been made, or is likely to have been made, for the purpose of sale (other than an object made for barter or exchange in accordance with Aboriginal tradition); or
(d) Aboriginal human remains.
WHAT IS AN ABORIGINAL PLACE?
An Aboriginal place is an area that is of cultural heritage significance to Aboriginal people.
It can include any one or more of the following:
(a) an area of land;
(b) an expanse of water;
(c) a natural feature, formation or landscape;
(d) an archaeological site, feature or deposit;
(e) the area immediately surrounding anything referred to in paragraphs (c) and (d), to the extent that it cannot be separated from the thing without diminishing or destroying the cultural heritage significance attached to the thing by Aboriginal people;
(f) land set aside for the purpose of enabling Aboriginal human remains to be re-interred or otherwise deposited on a permanent basis;
(g) a building or structure.