One of the very simple steps Traditional Owners can take to protect their cultural heritage is to register sites on Queensland’s Cultural Heritage Database.
The database was established under the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003 (Qld) (ACHA) in part to help those parties who propose development to identify any cultural values in a particular area.
A site on the database might be the location where items of cultural significance were located during a site survey, or it might be the location of culturally significant area such as a story site or a women’s place. Importantly, access to culturally significant information can be restricted so that people searching the database do not view sensitive information.
Registration on the database does not of itself mean the area becomes a protected site under the ACHA. However failure to search the database is a factor to be considered by a court in deciding whether a person has complied with the cultural heritage duty of care under the ACHA.
For Aboriginal Parties and Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Bodies operating under the ACHA, we recommend sites be entered onto the database as a matter of course as and when they are identified.