Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage

About the Cultural Heritage Unit

The department’s Cultural Heritage Unit administers the following Acts:

  • Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003
  • Torres Strait Islander Cultural Heritage Act 2003.

The main purpose of the Cultural Heritage Acts is to provide effective recognition, protection and conservation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage.

Support for land users and Traditional Owners

Our Cultural Heritage Unit helps land users and Traditional Owners protect and manage cultural heritage.

Learn more about how to comply with Queensland’s cultural heritage laws.

Review of the Cultural Heritage Acts

The department is undertaking a review of the Cultural Heritage Acts.

About the review

The review is examining whether the legislation:

  • is still operating as intended
  • is achieving intended outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other stakeholders in Queensland
  • aligns with the Queensland Government’s broader objective to reframe the relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • is consistent the current native title landscape
  • complies with contemporary drafting standards.

The review began in 2019 but was paused in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. On 17 December 2021, consultation opened following the release of an options paper (PDF, 5.1 MB) options paper (DOCX, 1.2 MB) outlining proposals for change. The proposals built on feedback from previous stages of the review and focused on three key areas:Providing opportunities to improve cultural heritage protection, including through increased consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  2. Reframing the definitions of ‘Aboriginal party’ and ‘Torres Strait Islander party’
  3. Promoting leadership by First Nations peoples in cultural heritage management and decision-making.

Consultation closed on 31 March 2022, with written submissions and responses to the online survey currently being reviewed.

Previous consultation

In 2019, the department:

  • released a consultation paper (PDF, 634 KB) to facilitate broad discussion of key themes for the purposes of the review. The paper provided a brief legislative history, an overview of the key components of the Cultural Heritage Acts, discussion points and questions, and a summary of legislation in other jurisdictions
  • held consultation sessions for stakeholders in June and July 2019 in Rockhampton (11 June), Mackay (12 June), Roma (18 June), Bundaberg (20 June), Cairns (25 June), Thursday Island (27 June), Mount Isa (16 July), Townsville (17 July) and Brisbane (22 July).

Stakeholders were invited to make a submission on the matters raised in the consultation paper, or on other issues (see Stakeholder submissions in 2019).

In 2020, the department undertook targeted consultation on legislative proposals with stakeholders who provided submissions in response to the 2019 consultation paper. 

Stakeholder submissions in 2019

Submissions from stakeholders in response to the 2019 consultation paper are set out below. 

Submission noSubmitter
1 Gidarjil Development Corporation Ltd (PDF, 215 KB)
2 Mooloolaba Kabi Kabi Traditional Owner (PDF, 28 KB)
3 Mr Clark-Kistowski (PDF, 96 KB)
4 Bindal and Birriah Traditional Owner (PDF, 167 KB)
5 Charters Towers Regional Council (PDF, 255 KB)
6 Ms Cooke (PDF, 329 KB)
7 Stockland Development Pty Ltd (PDF, 5.4 MB)
8 Ms Parsons (PDF, 85 KB)
9 North Burnett Regional Council (PDF, 385 KB)
10 Origin (PDF, 80 KB)
11 Carpentaria Land Council Aboriginal Corporation (PDF, 4.6 MB)
12 Chuulangun Aboriginal Corporation (PDF, 319 KB)
13 Mr Ingram (PDF, 302 KB)
14 North Queensland Dry Tropics Traditional Owners Group (PDF, 517 KB)
15 Property Council of Australia (PDF, 236 KB)
16 Mr Davies (PDF, 189 KB)
17 Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation (PDF, 164 KB)
18 Mr Verrall (PDF, 1.9 MB)
19 Sunshine Coast Regional Council (PDF, 313 KB)
20 Everick Heritage (PDF, 168 KB)
21 Fraser Coast Regional Council (PDF, 181 KB)
22 Ms G Jones (PDF, 1.7 MB)
23 Ms Gibbs (PDF, 204 KB)
24 Wakka Wakka Traditional Owner (PDF, 508 KB)
25 Jinibara Aboriginal Corporation (PDF, 786 KB)
26 Ms Dillon (PDF, 341 KB)
27 Just Us Lawyers (PDF, 352 KB)
28 Local Government Association of Queensland (PDF, 540 KB)
29 Nuga Nuga Aboriginal Corporation (PDF, 874 KB)
30 Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (PDF, 316 KB)
31 Queensland Law Society (PDF, 1.2 MB)
32 Queensland Rail (PDF, 452 KB)
33 Queensland Resources Council (PDF, 262 KB)
34 Department of Transport and Main Roads (PDF, 2.1 MB)
35 UDIA Queensland (PDF, 439 KB)
36 University of Queensland (PDF, 721 KB)
37 Ms H Jones and others (PDF, 2.9 MB)
38 Niche Environment and Heritage (PDF, 254 KB)
39 AgForce Queensland (PDF, 466 KB)
40 Australian Archaeological Association (PDF, 336 KB)
41 AH Specialists (PDF, 2.6 MB)
42 Cairns Regional Council (PDF, 548 KB)
43 Cape York Regional Council (PDF, 285 KB)
44 ANTaR QLD (PDF, 192 KB)
45 Kabi Kabi Peoples Aboriginal Corporation (PDF, 5.3 MB)
46 Jabree Ltd (PDF, 279 KB)
47 Greenwood Consultancy (PDF, 379 KB)
48 ICOMOS (PDF, 137 KB)
49 North Queensland Land Council (PDF, 864 KB)
50 Queensland Environmental Law Association (PDF, 308 KB)
51 Indjalandji-Dhidhanu Aboriginal Corporation (PDF, 587 KB)
52 Torres Strait Islands Regional Council (PDF, 431 KB)
53 P&E Law (PDF, 173 KB)
54 Yugara People (PDF, 3.9 MB)
55 EDO Qld (PDF, 604 KB)
56 Telstra (PDF, 174 KB)
57 Energy Queensland (PDF, 1.5 MB)
58 National Trust of Australia (Queensland) (PDF, 418 KB)
59 Queensland South Native Title Services (PDF, 139 KB)
60 For a number of Aboriginal People as prepared by ESJ Law (PDF, 372 KB)
61 Ningy Ningy Cultural Heritage Association (PDF, 790 KB)
62 Gur A Baradharaw Kod Torres Strait Sea and Land Council (PDF, 260 KB)
63 Marrawah Law (PDF, 724 KB)
64 Turrbal People (PDF, 657 KB)
65 Mr Dillon (PDF, 346 KB)
66 Torres Shire Council (PDF, 2.8 MB)
67 AECOM (PDF, 2.2 MB)
68 Powerlink (PDF, 837 KB)
69 Department of Environment and Science (PDF, 1.1 MB)
70 Queensland Small Miners Council (PDF, 3 MB) 

Cultural Heritage Online Portal

The Cultural Heritage Online Portal allows any member of the public to view information recorded in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage register.

Download the online portal user satisfaction review (PDF, 937 KB).

Contact us

For more information on cultural heritage legislation, contact the Cultural Heritage Unit:

Phone: 1300 378 401
Email: cultural.heritage@dsdsatsip.qld.gov.au

Cultural Heritage Acts review

For enquiries about the Cultural Heritage Acts review and public consultation:

Phone: 1800 469 166
Email: CHA_Review@dsdsatsip.qld.gov.au