Thursday 21 June 2007 - Estimates Committee B (Wriedt)
Thursday 21 June 2007
Mr Dean
Mr Finch
Mrs Jamieson
Mrs Rattray-Wagner
Ms Ritchie
Mrs Smith (Chair)

Brett Noble , Manager, Cultural Heritage  


3.4 Aboriginal heritage

Vandalism of sites

Mr FINCH - There is also a mention of identifying and understanding threats to Tasmanian Aboriginal heritage. One of the threats is vandalism to sites, what are the other threats?

Mr NOBLE - There are ongoing threats from land use and general development around the State. There are processes we work through to try to identify those threats in the planning stage and then deal with Aboriginal heritage by being informed about what it is, where it is, what development is happening. There is a whole range of threats. There are similar threats that you would envisage for natural heritage or historic heritage.

Mrs JAMIESON - I noticed that Aboriginal artists had an access trip into the World Heritage Area a couple of years ago. An exhibition was planned, did it happen?
[4.15 p.m.]

Mr NOBLE - It has not happened yet. We tried to organise a women's trip and a men's trip and we were able to fund and realise the women's trip but we were not able, due to a whole bunch of factors, including the weather at the time, to do the men's trip so rather than try to do the women's exhibition we put the whole package together.

Mrs JAMIESON - This is my ignorance. On page 12.23, output 3, performance indicators under the Aboriginal heritage heading, I have no idea what that means.

Mr NOBLE - Which one?

Mrs JAMIESON - There is only one, the compliance one, in table 12.8 under Aboriginal heritage, where it says '30' for the target and then it says 'na' or not applicable from last year and the year before, and then the next one says '60'. I do not understand it.

Mr NOBLE - What we were trying to measure was a few of the key things that we think will tell us we are succeeding. One of them was how much we are involved in the Aboriginal community. As you would know under the material we released for the new legislation, that is one our aims, to try to empower the Aboriginal community. The '30' represents a percentage of the formal activities we do in which we are asking for a decision from an Aboriginal community agency, in this particular case the Tasmanian Aboriginal Land and Sea Council.

The other issue we are measuring there, as a regulatory body our main purpose is to administer the Aboriginal Relics Act but, in doing that, we are also aware that that is very reactive. So in order to be proactive we also try to undertake land management, conservation activities, research, educational activities and promotional activities. The figure there is to understand how we change that mix. We are identifying this year how much time and effort we are having to spend on regulatory activities, straightforward compliance or non-compliance activities like enforcement activities as against when we get an opportunity to be proactive and try to conserve significant sites or participate with different communities on promotional and interpretive activities.

Mrs JAMIESON - The 'tbd' presumably means 'to be decided'?

Mr NOBLE - To be determined.

Mrs RATTRAY-WAGNER - Given what you have just explained about the role of your organisation, have you been involved in the Aboriginal communities' concerns about the pulp mill issue in the Tamar region?

Mr NOBLE - We have been involved from the outset in that process in our role as the regulator. Part of the system originally set up was direct communication with non-government groups from the Aboriginal community and that has been part of the public comment for the pulp mill process.

Mrs RATTRAY-WAGNER - So you have been involved and you do know exactly where the issues are with the Tasmanian Aboriginal community?

Mr NOBLE - Yes.