Balancing Aboriginal Sacred Site protection for the benefit of all Territorians

The Northern Territory Government (NTG) will strengthen Aboriginal sacred site protection while driving economic and jobs growth, following the public release of the Sacred Sites Processes and Outcomes Review.

The independent review carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers Indigenous Consulting (PIC) details 39 recommendations; it found that while the Northern Territory Aboriginal Sacred Sites Act (the Act) has, by and large, achieved its original purpose, there is significant improvement available through:

  • Legislative amendments;
  • Better co-ordination and funding by NTG; and
  • Improvements to the Aboriginal Areas Protections Authority’s (AAPA) structure and operations

The Act has not been updated for more than 25 years, which predates recognition of native title under Australian law. PIC’s review identifies a roadmap for a more contemporary framework that reflects the economic and social elements of the Northern Territory of today.

The review process was been open and transparent, with 41 stakeholder group meetings held during the drafting process.

Of the 39 recommendations in the review, 21 require legislative amendment, 17 relate to the day-to-day operations of AAPA, 11 enhance or solidifying sacred site protection and eight focus on reducing red tape or administrative burden.

Work will begin immediately on nine of the more readily achievable recommendations, while the more complex recommendations will undergo the full consideration of the Cabinet.

Queries can be directed to dcm.sacredsitesreview@nt.gov.au

Read more on the Department of the Chief Minister website.

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