Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 16 August 2018) . . Page.. 3192 ..
(1) Four RAOs have been declared under Section 14(7) of the Heritage Act 2004 (the Act). As set out in the Heritage (Representative Aboriginal Organisations) Declaration 2006 (No. 1) (NI2006-298), these RAOs are:
• Buru Ngunawal Aboriginal Corporation;
• Consultative Body Aboriginal Corporation on Indigenous Land and Artefacts in the Ngunnawal Area (now King Brown Tribal Group);
• Little Gudgenby River Tribal Council; and
• Ngarigu Currawong Clan.
(2) The Act does not specify RAO functions, but it does require that RAOs are consulted on a range of matters such as:
• ACT Heritage Council (the Council) decisions to register Aboriginal places or objects;
• Council decisions to cancel registration of Aboriginal places and objects; heritage guidelines for Aboriginal places and objects;
• the assessment of heritage significance of reported Aboriginal places and objects; and
• Minister declarations of repositories for Aboriginal objects.
(3) All RAOs have the capacity to provide their views on Aboriginal heritage matters. However, there can be times when RAOs choose not to provide their views on heritage matters, such as in times of Sorry Business or when Elders and cultural knowledge holders are experiencing poor health.
(4) In 2006, the Minister sought expressions of interest (EOIs) from entities willing to be declared as RAOs, in accordance with Section 14(5) of the Act. This consisted of:
• An advertisement in the Canberra Times on 25 February 2006, publically inviting expressions of interest; and
• Personalised letters to 32 members of the Aboriginal community who may have had an interest in being declared as RAOs, including all chairs of previous Registered Aboriginal Organisations under the Land (Planning and Environment) Act 1991, all members of the United Ngunnawal Elders Council (UNEC) and all members of the Namadgi Board.
Entities were asked to identify their contact details, membership details and to explain why they should be considered for declaration as a RAO.
As a result of this process, six EOIs were received.
The Minister considered all EOIs received and declared four groups as RAOs. The two remaining entities who submitted an EOI were not declared as RAOs as they did not fully meet the considerations.
(5) Other entities have made approaches or applications to the Minister in the past four years, expressing their willingness to be declared as RAOs.
(a) 10 approaches have been received in the past four years.