Aboriginal Communities - EDO NSW

Aboriginal Communities

EDO NSW has produced a number of resources relevant to Aboriginal communities.

We undertake law reform work relevant to Aboriginal communities. You can read our submissions, discussion papers and briefing notes below.

Other resources


Draft Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Bill 2018 - EDO NSW submission

13 April 2018 - Download

During the consultation period for this Bill, EDO NSW has been hearing from and visiting Aboriginal communities and clients in regional NSW, from the Northern Rivers to the Far West, to brief them on the draft and hear their aspirations for cultural heritage protection. Our submission also draws on decades of legal expertise and assistance to Aboriginal people and communities in heritage, planning and environmental law matters.

We strongly support standalone legislation with new Aboriginal institutions and decision-making. In particular we support the broader recognition of Aboriginal cultural heritage, including intangible heritage;  a new information system for mapping, monitoring and reporting; greater Aboriginal responsibility for heritage management and oversight, compliance and enforcement; and associated opportunities for empowerment, capacity-building, employment and self-determination.

However, we make recommendations to address concerns regarding: excessive ministerial powers and open-ended discretions, such as for ‘declaring’ ACH; the lack of any public information or discussion of major resourcing questions, in particular how (and whether) the ACH Authority and Local Panels will be fully resourced to fulfil their functions and invest in Aboriginal capacity-building; limited explanation to communities about how new definitions will be implemented in practice, protections for declared ACH, or the practicalities of registering intangible ACH; the exclusion of major projects from standard assessment pathways and harm offences; the need for clarity around which activities will need to follow the assessment pathway; and the clear imbalance in review and appeal rights that favours developers over Aboriginal people whose heritage is affected, contrary to the aims of the reforms and draft Bill.

See: Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Reforms: 6 things you need to know

Make your submission

EDO NSW submission on the NSW Travelling Stock Reserves State Planning Framework 2016-19

3 December 2015 - Download PDF

We recommend the draft Framework be developed and clarified for the following issues:

  • Integration with other legislative, planning and biodiversity frameworks
  • Assessing environmental benefits, cumulative impacts and future threats
  • Primary use classification – methodology, criteria and implications
  • Community engagement, respect and dialogue about TSR roles in the future
  • Recognition of diverse indigenous interests in TSR management
  • Adequate resources and capacity
  • Identifying, monitoring and reporting outcomes
  • Piloting ecosystem services assessment and accounting
  • Legislative change must address community concerns about the wider Crown Lands Review.

Submissions on the Integrated Mining Policy

Stage 1 submission, 9 July 2015 - Download PDF

Stage 2 submission, 7 September 2015 - Download PDF

The NSW Government is proposing a new whole-of-government approach to mining applications through an Integrated Mining Policy. The Government called for public submissions in two stages from May to September 2015. EDO NSW made key submissions at both stages of the consultation.

Read a summary of the key points in our submissions

Submission on the NSW Crown Lands Management Review

June 2014 - Download PDF

Submission on Draft NSW - Commonwealth Bilateral Approval Agreement

June 2014 - Download PDF

Senate Inquiry into the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Bilateral Agreement Implementation) Bill 2014 and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Cost Recovery) Bill 2014

June 2014 - Download PDF

Submission on the Remake of the Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals (IFOAs)

April 2014 - Download PDF

Submission on Reforming the Aboriginal Culture and Heritage System in NSW

28 March 2014 - Download

Submission on Draft NSW-Commonwealth Bilateral Assessment Agreement

December 2013 - Download PDF

Ratifying the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits 

20 April 2011 - Download PDF

Submission to the Aboriginal Culture and Heritage Reform Working Party on Aboriginal Culture and Heritage Legislative Review and Reform

19 December 2011 - Download PDF

ANEDO Submission to Expert Panel on the Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait People in the Australian Constitution

29 September 2011 - Download PDF

Submission to Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) on the international regime for Access and Benefit Sharing under the Convention on Biological Diversity

25 June 2010 - Download PDF

ANEDO Submission on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984

9 November 2009 - Download PDF

Submission on the Aboriginal Land Management Framework

23 April 2009 - Download PDF

discussion papers

Reforming New South Wales’ Laws for the Protection of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage

This discussion paper was prepared by EDO NSW in 2009 in order to provide a basis for a discussion about the problems with the Aboriginal culture and heritage protection provisions of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 and amendments that had been proposed to that legislation.

The paper was aimed at seeking feedback on the problems with the legislation; and at canvassing some options for reforming the system to ensure improved protection, management and conservation of Aboriginal cultural heritage.

2009 - Download PDF

briefing notes

ANEDO - Objections to the proposal for an environmental ‘one stop shop’

December 2013 - Download PDF