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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 12 Hansard (23 November) . . Page.. 3944..

Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders—heritage

(Question No 1365)

Mrs Dunne

asked the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, upon notice, on 19 October 2006:

(1) What principles of best practice does the ACT Government utilise for the management, protection and preservation of Ngu(n)nawal culture and heritage in the ACT;

(2) What criteria, if any, does the ACT Government apply for the determination of which indigenous groups should be consulted on matters of Ngu(n)nawal culture and heritage;

(3) When the traditional Ngu(n)nawal owners of Canberra and the region are offered recognition at official functions, does the ACT Government recognise (a) indigenous people who have an historical connection to Canberra and the region or (b) Ngu(n)nawal people who have a genealogical connection to Canberra and the region

(4) Is any official recognition of the traditional Ngu(n)nawal owners of this region a symbolic gesture similar to the recognition given via Namadgi Park Joint Management Agreement;

(5) Does the Namadgi Park Joint Management Agreement hold no rights at law and no proprietary rights.

Mr Stanhope

: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) The ACT Government draws on consultation with the following bodies to assist it in the protection and preservation of Ngunnawal culture in the ACT: the Ngunnawal Elders Council, the interim Namadgi Advisory Board, Relative Aboriginal Organisations and the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Consultative Council.

In addition, a number of ACT laws, such as the Heritage Act 2004, create positions for indigenous representation of other consultative and advisory bodies.

(2) Refer to (1) above.

(3) Refer to answer to Question on Notice No. 1346.

(4) Symbolic recognition of the Ngunnawal people as the traditional owners of the ACT is offered on the basis of respect, and in the spirit of reconciliation.

The 2001 agreement under s.86F of the Native Title Act also obliges the ACT Government to extend symbolic recognition of the agreement parties by inviting them to send nominees to official Government functions and events.

The Agreement between the Territory and ACT Native Title Claim Groups (2001) establishes the cooperative management of Namadgi National Park. The agreement provides for these groups

    • to participate in the management of Namadgi National Park;
    • to be consulted on specific regional Aboriginal cultural issues; and
    • to be consulted on the development of amendments to legislation that will impact on Namadgi National Park.

It is the only agreement of this type in the ACT.

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