Sacred sites review

A review of the Northern Territory Aboriginal Sacred Sites Act has made 39 recommendations to improve the way the act operates.

The review by independent consultants examined the scope and operation of the Act and the Aboriginal Areas Protections Authority (AAPA).

The review provides advice on :

  • how the Act might be strengthened to improve protections for sacred sites.
  • how the Act might be changed in order to simplify processes around economic development
  • how AAPA could better balance economic needs and the protection of sacred sites.

The Act was last reviewed in 1991 which was before native title was recognised under Australian law.

The review process involved 41 meetings with interested groups. 


The review concluded that whilst the Act achieved its original purpose, it could be improved through changes to the law, better coordination and funding by the NT Government and improvements to AAPA's structure and operations.

Of the 39 recommendations, 21 would need changes to the Act. Others relate to the day to day running of AAPA, strengthen sacred site protection and to simplify administrative processes.

Work will start immediately on implementing nine of the recommendations and the others will be further considered by the government.

Read the sacred sites processes and outcomes review report PDF (1.1 MB).

Read more about the report into sacred sites processes.

Sacred sites processes and outcomes review and recommendations DOCX (56.2 KB)
Sacred sites processes and outcomes review and recommendations PDF (38.8 KB)

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Last updated: 13 July 2016

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