Aboriginal cultural heritage can be found anywhere, even
in the Brisbane CBD – there are campsites located near Roma
Street Station and Victoria Park. Outside of the CBD there are
numerous recorded cultural heritage sites in the South East,
particularly around green field development areas such as those
around Ipswich. The obligation to comply with the requirements of
the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003 (Qld) applies to
everyone and applies to any land in Queensland, including
It is critical that developers comply with cultural heritage
obligations because the penalties for breaches of the Act are
substantial – up to $117,800 for an individual and $1,178,000
for a corporation – and you may be forced to stop ground
disturbing activities under injunctions and stop work orders.
The State has prosecuted companies for failure to strictly
comply with the requirements of the Act even in circumstances
the extent of the ground disturbance is small;
the harmed cultural heritage consisted of low density stone
tool scatter (spear tips);
the contravention was relatively minor; and
the company had previously engaged with the appropriate
aboriginal party to avoid harm to cultural heritage.
In 2010, the Department of Environment and Resource Management
(DERM) commenced a prosecution based on a complaint made by an
individual director of a registered aboriginal cultural heritage
body. The individual director did so without a resolution of the
board and was subsequently removed from the board. Although the
aboriginal cultural heritage body requested that the prosecution be
discontinued, DERM refused to do so. Subsequently, the Magistrate
found the company had breached the Act and imposed an $80,000 fine
without any conviction being recorded. In addition to the fine, the
company was exposed to significant legal costs and costs associated
with delays in the development.
Cultural heritage compliance is a necessary adjunct to any
development approval and, if dealt with properly, does not have to
cost a fortune or derail your project.
Cooper Grace Ward and Urbis will be hosting a seminar on this
topic on Tuesday, 10 November 2015. This joint
event will provide property developers with practical advice to
assist with the management of cultural heritage as part of their
Winner – EOWA Employer of Choice for Women Citation 2009,
2010, 2011 and 2012
Winner – ALB Gold Employer of Choice 2011 and 2012
Finalist – ALB Australasian Law Awards 2008, 2010, 2011 and
2012 (Best Brisbane Firm)
Winner – BRW Client Choice Awards 2009 and 2010 - Best
Australian Law Firm (revenue less than $50m)
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Warranties can be risk-shifting mechanisms when the party giving the warranty is not the party at fault for the defect.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).