Environmental issues are important and often open for public consultation. This chapter focuses on planning laws, environmental impact assessments and pollution-control laws. Responsible authorities can impose conditions on a permit. The minister can intervene at various stages.


Brendan Sydes, Bruce Lindsay and Bronya Lipski

Solicitors, Environmental Justice Australia

Aboriginal heritage protection

Last updated

1 July 2020

Proposed developments must comply with obligations to protect Aboriginal cultural heritage under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 (Vic). Under this Act and the Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2007 (Vic), a Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP) may be necessary. CHMPs protect and manage Aboriginal cultural heritage, with the involvement of registered Aboriginal parties, while allowing development to proceed.

Prepared by a cultural heritage advisor, a CHMP is an assessment of the potential impact of the proposed activity on Aboriginal cultural heritage. It outlines measures to be taken before, during and after an activity in order to manage and protect Aboriginal cultural heritage in the activity area.

A CHMP must be approved by relevant registered Aboriginal parties, where they exist. Where there are no registered Aboriginal parties, the Secretary of the  DELWP, or in certain circumstances the Aboriginal Heritage Council, may approve a CHMP.

Decision-making authorities (e.g. state or local government agencies) can not issue statutory approvals (e.g. a works authority, licence or planning permit) for certain activities without first receiving an approved CHMP for that activity.

More information about whether a CHMP is required can be found at www.aboriginalvictoria.vic.gov.au/cultural-heritage-management-plans.

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