INSIGHT 1972 is calling: repeal of the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2021 (WA): Allens

Cultural heritage legislative and ‘best practice’ gap returns

Just five weeks after its commencement, the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2021 (WA) (ACH Act) has been repealed, and will be replaced with an amended version of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (WA) (1972 Act) – the very legislation it was intended to overhaul.

The return to a framework that was roundly criticised in the course of the Juukan Gorge Parliamentary Inquiry will only emphasise the gap between legislative requirements and the ‘best practice’ cultural heritage management standards that have become the de facto expectation of stakeholders.

In this Insight, the law firm Allens explains the repeal of the ACH Act and consider the implications of the transition back to the 1972 Act, including the business human rights risks this presents.