Cultural Heritage Protection Reform: ANTAR PAPER

his background paper provides information on First Nations cultural heritage reform including recurring themes for reform, the current legislative framework and co-design options to reform First Nations cultural heritage protections.

The need to improve protection for First Nations cultural heritage was tragically brought into sharp relief by the destruction of Juukan Gorge by Rio Tinto in May 2020 and the subsequent findings of various inquiries and reviews of the legislation. While the destruction was authorised under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (WA) and did not breach an Indigenous land use agreement under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) between Rio Tinto and the PKKP people, what it exposed is that current legislative frameworks for the protection of First Nations cultural heritage sites are inadequate and no longer fit for purpose.