Bega Valley Shire CouncilBega Valley Shire Council

Aboriginal Cultural Heritage - raising the bar

Image, words Have Your Say.

Have your say on the draft DCP amendment ‘Aboriginal Heritage’

Exhibition of Chapter 5.1 Aboriginal Heritage

Council has resolved to exhibit a draft amendment to Chapter 5.1 ‘Aboriginal Heritage’ of the Bega Valley Development Control Plan (DCP).

The purpose of the draft DCP is to draw attention to existing State legislation in place to prevent harm to Aboriginal objects, provide a publicly available source of information for use in due diligence assessment and to provide clarity around levels of Aboriginal heritage assessment required for development.

The draft DCP introduces an Aboriginal Cultural Landscape Map that identifies the parts of the Shire that are more likely to contain Aboriginal objects. The purpose of the map is to assist landowners and developers carry out their due diligence by mapping the places where there is an increased likelihood of disturbing or harming Aboriginal objects through development activities, and to ensure a proportionate level of due diligence occurs during the planning and assessment phase. 

The draft DCP does not create any additional requirements over and above what is already in place.  The intention is to assist in protecting Aboriginal cultural heritage while at the same time avoiding legal and project complications for landowners and/or developers who accidentally harm Aboriginal objects.

The draft DCP is part of an on-going process to ensure that our existing state legislation is being properly addressed and that we are honouring our Memorum of Understanding with Aboriginal people during the development process.

Comments about the draft strategy are welcome during the exhibition period which runs from Monday 1st June to Sunday 2nd August 2020.

Document on exhibition

Draft Chapter 5.1 ‘Aboriginal Heritage’ of the Bega Valley Development Control Plan 2013.

Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Landscape Maps:

Who's listening

Have Your Say

We are seeking your feedback on our Draft Chapter 5.1 ‘Aboriginal Heritage’ of the Bega Valley Development Control Plan.

Have your say by:

  • Online Comments: Leave your comments at the bottom of this page
  • Email:
  • Post: General Manager, Bega Valley Shire Council, PO Box 492, Bega NSW 2550
Please submit your feedback by: Sunday, 2 August 2020.


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    Comments (7)

  • Has more thought gone into this than just marking areas close to water ways? Have local Indigenous people been actively involved in the creation of the map? Will more detail be added to the final map, indicating specific sights of cultural significance?

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  • Hi Karrine, thanks for your interest in this project. The map is based on identified Aboriginal travel routes, natural waterbodies and watercourses, major waterways, estuaries as well as the coastline. A range of local Aboriginal people as well as the three Local Aboriginal Land Councils were involved in the creation of the map. At this stage more detail is not proposed to be added to the map as it is intended to illustrate landscape features that indicate area that are more likely to contain Aboriginal cultural heritage values. We welcome further feedback and please contact us on the details above if you wold like more information.

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  • It is fantastic to see that Aboriginal Heritage sites will be mapped and protected as they should be. Good to know that you have consulted with local Indigenous people who have the knowledge as this was my concern, that this process would be undertaken without any consent from the local Indigenous community.

    What I would like to see after this process is finalised, and again, if this is something that the local Indigenous community would like, is for as many of the areas that are in public spaces to be made known as heritage sites. We should be proud to showcase our Indigenous history and heritage.

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  • Hi Victoria,

    At present there is no mechanism by which Aboriginal sites of significance on private land can be made publicly accessible and 'showcased'. Sites of significance on public land (such as Mumbulla Falls) are well known and visited by the public with interpretive signage. Some sites may be more culturally sensitive to public knowledge visitation. We welcome further feedback and please contact us on the details above if you wold like more information.

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  • Not sure why Wyndham hasnt been added to your map. There are scar trees at Devils hole and evidence of Aboriginal occupation a long the Mataganah. We had a meeting where we talked about it last year. Many folk have found artifacts on now private property out in the Wyndham area. Would be great if you incorportated that aswell.

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  • Hi Phil,

    Thanks for your comment.

    Apologies, I misinterpreted the context behind the control plan and now understand what the relevance. Of course, I also can see that some sites might be culturally sensitive and should not be made publicly known.

    Thanks again for responding to my comment.

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  • Aboriginal Cultural Heritage
    Comments by Rob Bain
    I have no objection to identifying Aboriginal objects and sites but, once a property has been assessed as not having Aboriginal objects it seems neither logical nor equitable for the Council to continue to list the property as likely to contain Aboriginal objects.
    As Council records show, we went to considerable trouble and expense to have our property assessed and we would like it now removed from the likely Aboriginal objects map.
    By placing all properties within a kilometre of a waterway on the map it creates some uncertainty for potential buyers of properties that have been assessed as not containing Aboriginal objects. Surely it would preferable exclude these properties and remove any confusion.
    If having an assessment cannot result in the removal of a property from the map, this creates a disincentive for owners to go down this path unless legally required to do so.

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