- Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2021 empowers Aboriginal people as decision-makers about their cultural heritage
- Local Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Services are a key feature of the new laws
- Expressions of interest open for grants for eligible Aboriginal corporations
The McGowan Government has made $10 million in grant funding available to eligible Aboriginal corporations who choose to take on a new regulatory role to advise on cultural heritage matters.
Aboriginal Affairs Minister Dr Tony Buti said the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2021 provides for the appointment of Local Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Services (LACHS) ensuring that decisions to manage and protect cultural heritage are made at a local level.
An initial two rounds of grants are available to help identify, operate and build the capacity of potential LACHS.
In the first round, funding of up to $80,000 is available for eligible corporations to prepare a readiness report outlining how they will meet the LACHS requirements and identifying any additional capacity building needs to support their role in implementing the new laws.
Aboriginal organisations that are designated as LACHS by the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Council will be eligible to receive a further grant of $200,000 to assist with capacity building. This could include the appointment and/or upskilling of staff or address other areas of additional support identified in the Readiness Report.
The McGowan Government will continue to work with key industries, peak bodies and stakeholders, including the resources sector, to enable additional complementary investment from across the State to support LACHS' capacity building.
The Government is also considering options for ongoing operational funding for LACHS.
Expressions of interest from eligible corporations are now being sought for the first round of grants. For more information, visit https://wa.gov.au/ach-act
Comments attributed to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Dr Tony Buti:
"Local Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Services are a key feature of the new laws and will be designated to help negotiate and facilitate agreement-making on land-use proposals and provide advice on protecting and managing cultural heritage.
"To fulfil their important statutory functions, LACHS will need to possess skills and expertise in consultation, negotiation, agreement making, heritage management and legislative compliance.
"The McGowan Government's grants program will help to ensure these skills, in addition to sound governance arrangements, are available as LACHS begin their important work.
"This funding is an initial step towards a collaborative funding model between the McGowan Government and industry to underwrite the long-term capacity of LACHS in Western Australia.
"I encourage any Aboriginal corporation keen to take a more active role in the management of their local heritage as a LACHS to find out more about the readiness grants program."
Minister's office - 6552 5800