The development industry has always had the utmost respect for Aboriginal Cultural Heritage and acknowledges the need to protect identified sites as was always the case under the 1972 Act.

As a member of the ACH Implementation Group, UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck has welcomed today’s bold yet necessary decision to reset the legislative framework protecting ACH due to the significant delays the 2021 ACH Act is having on the provision of housing supply.

“Despite our best efforts to work with the State Government on the implementation of the new Act, UDIA on behalf of the development industry came to the view that the Act was unworkable in its current form,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“UDIA made it clear that just as the State Government is responsible for surveying & mapping bushfire prone areas, sites of State environmental significance and other areas that require protection or mitigation – the State should also take on responsibility for the cost & implementation of the surveying of ACH,” Ms Steinbeck said.

Today’s announcement that this will occur gives greater certainty to industry around the planning & development of desperately needed housing supply,” said Ms Steinbeck.

“It is essential that ground disturbance works for residential development are allowed to continue without delay on sites with no identified ACH. Our members pride themselves on working successfully with traditional owners under the previous Act when there is known ACH interests. It is the unknown that needs to be proactively managed by the State under the revised legislation and UDIA will continue to work collaboratively with the government and traditional owners in this regard,” Ms Steinbeck said.

UDIA supports the equitable rebalancing of rights of appeal under the revised 1972 Act to ensure traditional owners have equal rights to appeal a decision under the Act as industry has had for decades.

The retention of the established Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Council is also welcomed which was a positive component of the 2021 ACH Act providing greater representation for traditional owners in overseeing the protection & management of cultural heritage interests across the State.

“Today’s decision highlights that a one size fits all approach to legislation & policy does not always deliver the best outcome. Whilst mining, farming and development are all equally of the view that the 2021 ACH Act was unworkable, their activities are vastly different though all make a significant economic & social contribution to the State. I applaud the Premier and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs for listening and most importantly acting swiftly in the best interests of all stakeholders,” Ms Steinbeck said.


Chris Thurmott

Communications Officer
P: 0406 271 895