The Aboriginal Heritage Act
The Aboriginal Heritage Act 1975 is the primary legislation for the protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage in Tasmania.
The Act is the amended, and renamed version of the Aboriginal Relics Act 1975.
The Act amendments commenced on 16 August 2017 and key changes include:
- References to 1876 being a ‘cut-off’ point for what is considered as Aboriginal heritage have been removed;
- Increased penalties for damage to Aboriginal heritage;
- Introduction of scaled offences, in association with the removal of the ignorance defence;
- Removal of the 6-month time limit for prosecuting offences;
- Establishment of a statutory Aboriginal Heritage Council of Aboriginal people to advise the Minister; and
- Setting a statutory timeline for further review of the Act.