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 finalising the review of the Cultural Heritage Acts, which 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 with the current native title landscape
  • complies with contemporary drafting standards.

Consultation — 2021 options paper

The department released an options paper (PDF, 5.1 MB) options paper (DOCX, 1.2 MB) in December 2021, inviting feedback from Queenslanders on proposed changes to the Cultural Heritage Acts.

The proposals built on feedback from previous stages of the review and focused on three key areas:

  1. 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 more than 430 responses received through written submissions and online surveys. The department would like to thank all those who provided feedback and contributed to the review.

The responses, together with recent national, state and territory developments, will guide and inform the next steps to make sure the Cultural Heritage Acts provide strong, effective protection for our state’s rich cultural heritage and work well for the benefit of all Queenslanders. Further information about outcomes of the review and next steps is expected to be available by the end of 2022.

Submissions made to the 2021 options paper

Submissions made on proposals in the 2021 options paper are set out below.

Submission No Submitter
1. E. Crosby (PDF, 716 KB)
2.  L. Chalkers  (PDF, 45 KB)
3. L. Hackett (PDF, 551 KB)
4. E. Heidecker (PDF, 45 KB)
5. R. Samuey (PDF, 93 KB)
6. North Queensland Dry Tropics Traditional Owners Management Group (PDF, 745 KB)
7. Professor G. Samuel AC (PDF, 653 KB)
8. Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (PDF, 368 KB)
9. G. Carpenter (PDF, 47 KB) 
10. M. Barstow obo-Geemoorburra Peoples- Kunggandji Gunggandi Elders (PDF, 198 KB)
11. I. Davidson (PDF, 189 KB)
12. L. Sullivan (PDF, 92 KB)
13. Sunshine Coast Reconciliation Group Incorporated (PDF, 1.1 MB)
14. B. Graci (PDF, 45 KB)
15. J. Govan- Associate Professor S. Harwood & Doctor E. Wensing, Harwood Planning and Development (PDF, 427 KB)
16. J. Reid & C. Harvey- Niche Environment and Heritage (PDF, 289 KB)
17. T. Ireland- Australia ICOMOS (PDF, 908 KB)
18. S.MacDonald- National Trust of Australia (Queensland) Redlands Branch (PDF, 55 KB)
19. G.Singleton- Dawul Wuru Aboriginal Corporation (PDF, 106 KB)
20. HQ Plantations (PDF, 246 KB)
21. D. Laner- Stockland (PDF, 245 KB)
22. Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) (PDF, 768 KB)
23. M. Collins- Planning Institute of Australia (PDF, 128 KB)
24. Turnstone Archaeology (PDF, 714 KB)
25. Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (PDF, 291 KB)
26. Property Council of Australia (PDF, 266 KB)
27. Queensland Small Miners Council (PDF, 695 KB)
28. H. Marchant (PDF, 45 KB)
29. S. Lummis- National Trust of Australia Queensland (PDF, 45 KB)
30. Cement Concrete and Aggregates Australia (PDF, 302 KB)
31. Torres Strait Islander Regional Council (PDF, 106 KB)
32. Jambree Ltd (PDF, 198 KB)
33. V. Watson (PDF, 44 KB)
34. A. Bell (PDF, 74 KB)
35. A. Zhou (PDF, 24 KB)
36. N. Stone (PDF, 72 KB)
37. J. Lazarus (PDF, 80 KB)
38. J. Welch (PDF, 151 KB)
39. P. Youlden (PDF, 72 KB)
40. L. Rowley (PDF, 133 KB)
41. M. Campbell (PDF, 71 KB)
42. L. Comerford (PDF, 103 KB)
43. D. Owers (PDF, 147 KB)
44. M.L. Drew (PDF, 71 KB)
45. A. Bermingham (PDF, 79 KB)
46. S. Miller-Mustard (PDF, 78 KB)
47. Dr A. Ross- University of Queensland (PDF, 593 KB)
48. J. Kable (PDF, 71 KB)
49. W. Boooka & D. Widjung (PDF, 373 KB)
50. C. Mewing (PDF, 38 KB)
51. C. McEwen (PDF, 71 KB)
52. D. Finter (PDF, 79 KB)
53. L. Agar (PDF, 19 KB)
54. M. Murphy (PDF, 17 KB)
55. M. Mullerworth (PDF, 71 KB)
56. H. Audus (PDF, 80 KB)
57. C. Ryan (PDF, 79 KB)
58. M. Kiely (PDF, 78 KB)
59. M. Pigram (PDF, 70 KB)
60. D. Boon (PDF, 70 KB)
61. F. Crombach (PDF, 107 KB)
62. E. Mortimer (PDF, 71 KB)
63. P. Murphy (PDF, 73 KB)
64. M & P Wilson (PDF, 118 KB)
65. R. Callen (PDF, 1.2 MB)
66. S. Croaker (PDF, 41 KB)
67. S. Magon (PDF, 47 KB)
68. A. Duque-Portugal (PDF, 158 KB)
69. J. Van Kool (PDF, 73 KB)
70. S. Horn- International Volunteers for Peace (PDF, 21 KB)
71. M. Cleary (PDF, 72 KB)
72. M. Kimberley (PDF, 216 KB)
73. Ashurst obo AGL (PDF, 92 KB)
74. S. Ritter  (PDF, 75 KB)
75. H. Willis-Smith (PDF, 75 KB)
76. Anonymous (PDF, 156 KB)
77. K. James (PDF, 79 KB)
78. S. Day (PDF, 72 KB)
79. D. Nickell (PDF, 72 KB)
80. L. Foley (PDF, 876 KB)
81. R. Rutkowski (PDF, 25 KB)
82. E. McConnell (PDF, 45 KB)
83. P. Lyndi (PDF, 45 KB)
84. P. Heaphy (PDF, 48 KB)
85. K. Thomas (PDF, 44 KB)
86. L. Adams (PDF, 45 KB)
87. M. Nicholls (PDF, 69 KB)
88. R. Bacchus (PDF, 54 KB)
89. L. Fischer (PDF, 44 KB)
90. G. Steel (PDF, 48 KB)
91. S. Buckley (PDF, 349 KB)
92. D. McLaughlin- Australian Catholic University (PDF, 47 KB)
93. M. Spicer-Wensley (PDF, 114 KB)
94. L. Curl (PDF, 45 KB)
95. C. Morrison- Original Sovereign Tribal Foundation (PDF, 45 KB)
96. W. Ford (PDF, 89 KB)
97. J. Mcpherson (PDF, 45 KB)
98. P. Reid (PDF, 55 KB)
99. S. Davies (PDF, 45 KB)
100. J. Cameron (PDF, 46 KB)
101. U. Nixon (PDF, 19 KB)
102. H. Chuawiwat (PDF, 45 KB)
103. J. Brewer (PDF, 64 KB)
104. C.M. Young (PDF, 62 KB)
105. B. Osterio (PDF, 46 KB)
106. L. Kanost (PDF, 63 KB)
107. M. Ewen (PDF, 62 KB)
108. B. Chandra (PDF, 45 KB)
109. E. Whitehead (PDF, 13 KB)
110. D. Aitken (PDF, 45 KB)
111. W. Gardiner (PDF, 50 KB)
112. C. Mc Coomb (PDF, 44 KB)
113. P. Atherton (PDF, 46 KB)
114. D. R. Emblem- The Conservancy (PDF, 94 KB)
115. G. Paris (PDF, 72 KB)
116. L. Telling (PDF, 64 KB)
117. L. Bani (PDF, 44 KB)
118. C. Hawkins (PDF, 114 KB)
119. T. Whitnell-Reach Mediation (PDF, 195 KB)
120. P. Sutton (PDF, 44 KB)
121. R. Peters (PDF, 45 KB)
122. B. McReynolds (PDF, 60 KB)
123. J. Dawson (PDF, 46 KB)
124. M. Waters-Gomeroi / Kamilaroi Nation State (PDF, 1.1 MB)
125. N. Read (PDF, 110 KB)
126. N. Dias (PDF, 44 KB)
127. K. Baillieu Cordner Hunt (PDF, 21 KB)
128. S. Ganz (PDF, 64 KB)
129. G. Wehinger (PDF, 175 KB)
130. K. Tierney (PDF, 45 KB)
131. M. Knagge (PDF, 44 KB)
132. B. Dean- Nagana Yarrbayn (PDF, 45 KB)
133. C. Sellers (PDF, 60 KB)
134. L. Swan (PDF, 59 KB)
135. V. Smith (PDF, 44 KB)
136. M. Kingsland (PDF, 45 KB)
137. S. Rowan (PDF, 46 KB)
138. B. Moran (PDF, 46 KB)
139. A. Gillme (PDF, 46 KB)
140. S. Wylie (PDF, 75 KB) 
141. B. McQueen (PDF, 151 KB)
142. A. Roseman (PDF, 74 KB) 
143. J. Kelly (PDF, 74 KB) 
144. Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (PDF, 156 KB)
145. Queensland Resources Council (PDF, 514 KB)
146. Quandamooka Truth Embassy (PDF, 2.6 MB)
147. Urban Development Institute Australia Queensland (PDF, 2.6 MB)
148. NBN Co (PDF, 309 KB)
149. Karingbal People- Nuga Nuga Aboriginal Corporation (PDF, 2.3 MB)
150. E & B Charleson (PDF, 627 KB)
151. D. Zam (PDF, 880 KB)
152. Preston Law obo Scott Harris (PDF, 675 KB)
153. Mijerribah Moorgumpin Elders-in-Council Aboriginal Corporation (PDF, 476 KB)
154. M. Williams (PDF, 702 KB)
155. Member McNamara- Land Court of Queensland (PDF, 123 KB)
156. Ben (PDF, 877 KB)
157. M. Bell (PDF, 720 KB)
158. Ashurst (PDF, 99 KB)
159. J. Hill-Yirendali Waluwarra (PDF, 808 KB)
160. D. Claudie- Chuulangun Aboriginal Corporation (PDF, 548 KB)
161. Australian Rail Track Corporation (PDF, 168 KB)
162. K. Perry (PDF, 967 KB)
163. B. Thompson (PDF, 714 KB)
164. M. Harris, Aurizon, (PDF, 895 KB)
165. J. Cargill (PDF, 800 KB)
166. W. Aird (PDF, 119 KB)
167. G. Freer (PDF, 72 KB)
168. Extent Heritage (PDF, 233 KB)
169. Anderson- Institute for First Nations Governance Professionals and M. Cooke- FNGGGTB Aboriginal Corporation (PDF, 831 KB)
170. Origin Energy (PDF, 77 KB)
171. R. Kent (PDF, 624 KB)
172. Queensland Human Rights Commission (PDF, 329 KB)
173. Gold Coast City Council (PDF, 787 KB)
174. Brisbane City Council (PDF, 230 KB)
175. H. Harland (PDF, 443 KB)
176. C. Thorstensen and D. Gray (PDF, 802 KB)
177. Dillon Bowers Lawyers obo Bulganunna Aboriginal Corporation (PDF, 278 KB)
178. J.M. Christie (PDF, 723 KB)
179. S. Validzic (PDF, 175 KB)
180. A. Mondal (PDF, 47 KB)
181. D. Roye (PDF, 44 KB)
182. A. Manandhar (PDF, 49 KB)
183. C. Bristow (PDF, 44 KB)
184. A. Day (PDF, 46 KB)
185. P.D.R. Lindsey-Salmon (PDF, 8 KB)
186. H. Colman (PDF, 45 KB)
187. R. Stanford (PDF, 46 KB)
188. Y. Hartman (PDF, 116 KB)
189. L. Edwards (PDF, 75 KB)
190. C. Eatock- Indigenous Peoples’ Organisation (PDF, 213 KB)
191. G. Simpson (PDF, 60 KB)
192. J. Wormald- Cape York Land Council (PDF, 268 KB)
193. P. Payten (PDF, 46 KB)
194. B. Marks- Everick Heritage (PDF, 1.4 MB)
195. J. Smith- Dept Transport and Main Roads (PDF, 1.1 MB)
196. L. Adcock (PDF, 47 KB)
197. R. Farrell (PDF, 31 KB)
198. M. Hyatt (PDF, 44 KB)
199. S. Parkin- Parallax Legal (PDF, 227 KB)
200. B. Gall- Australian Heritage Specialists (PDF, 335 KB)
201. P. Waterson- APA Group (PDF, 274 KB)
202. J. Laughlin- Telstra (PDF, 222 KB)
203. K. Lockwood- Queensland Ports Association (PDF, 736 KB)
204. A. MacMahon- State Member for South Brisbane (PDF, 290 KB)
205. E. Rice and J. Castley (PDF, 164 KB)
206. Butchulla Garling Wonamutta Aboriginal Corporation (PDF, 231 KB)
207. Agforce Queensland (PDF, 349 KB)
208. K. McCourt (PDF, 65 KB)
209. G. Guiffre (PDF, 650 KB)
210. D. Kake (PDF, 44 KB)
211. Choorechillum PBC (PDF, 181 KB)
212. Townsville City Council (PDF, 192 KB)
213. Queensland South Native Title Services (PDF, 593 KB)
214. S. Miller (PDF, 45 KB)
215. L. Johnson (PDF, 45 KB)
216. P. Ames (PDF, 44 KB)
217. M. Murphy (PDF, 45 KB)
218. Marian (PDF, 731 KB)
219. G. Gartland (PDF, 347 KB)
220. I. Kellermann Williams (PDF, 44 KB)
221. D. Markey, Energy Queensland (PDF, 371 KB)
222. K. Wiltshire (PDF, 302 KB)
223. Wangan and Jagalingou Nagana Yarrbayn Cultural Custodians (PDF, 212 KB)
224. N. Franklin- Moreton Bay Regional Council (PDF, 201 KB) 
225. S. Thompson (PDF, 174 KB)
226. K. Brewer- Healthy Land & Water (PDF, 237 KB)
227. J. Crossman- Logan City Council (PDF, 12.4 MB)
228. Indigenous Engagement and School of Social Science, University of Queensland (PDF, 1.1 MB)
229. M. O'Connor-Environmental Defenders Office (PDF, 480 KB)
230. T. Cotter (PDF, 137 KB)
231. Gur A Baradharaw Kod Torres Strait Sea and Land Council (PDF, 285 KB)
232. Queensland Law Society (PDF, 4.9 MB)


Previous consultation

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

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