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The Aboriginal Cultural Material Committee (ACMC) advises the Minister for Indigenous Affairs on matters relating to Aboriginal heritage. The Committee consists of Aboriginal men and women from different parts of Western Australia to ensure culturally appropriate decisions are made about sensitive material or sites.
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Under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 the ACMC is established as an advisory body.
The Committee evaluates the importance of Aboriginal sites on behalf of the community and recommends recordings and preserving the traditional Aboriginal lore related to sites (if appropriate).
The role of the Committee in considering an application for land development consists of:
1. Determining whether a site exists under section 5 of the AHA.
2. If it is determined that a site exists, then the significance of the site is evaluated under section 39(2).
3. Recommending to the Minister whether to grant or decline consent to the applicant to use the land, and whether conditions should apply to any consent granted.
The ACMC meets every first Wednesday of the month except in January.
Prior to each meeting the Committee advertises all applications it has received on the DIA website and in the West Australian to provide the information to the public. Applications for land development (s18 notices) have to be submitted before the advertised closing date. Applications submitted after the closing date will not be considered for the upcoming ACMC meeting. They will be considered for assessment for the meeting after.
All applications that are submitted to the ACMC must meet certain requirements so the ACMC can make an informed decision under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (please note that the number of copies of documents (both hard copy and electronic format) required to be submitted has recently changed):
The section 18 application form must be completed & signed by the owner of the land and/or applicant. An applicant who is not the owner of the land must include a letter of authorisation signed by the land owner to undertake the purpose described in the application.
A cover letter addressing the application and supporting documentation.
A list of attachments/inclusions, e.g. Certificates of Title, photographs, maps.
Final coloured versions of Aboriginal heritage survey reports. Draft reports will not be accepted.
DIA Aboriginal site recording forms must be submitted for all newly recorded sites and all previously registered sites that have new information recorded as part of the s18 application process. All photographs, diagrams and maps must be in colour. Site recording forms are considered as part of the application.
Five copies of all documents are required, collated to make five individual ‘packages’ with all attachments and inclusions (but not in a bound single volume). All maps / diagrams / photographs must be in colour for each copy.
Two digital copies of the application package, inclusive of all attachments, maps, spatial data (shapefile format preferred), on CD or other digital media.
After evaluating the s18 Notice, the ACMC makes recommendations to the Minister for Indigenous Affairs regarding the Heritage values of affected areas. The Minister makes the final decision on whether consent for a s18 application will be granted and under what, if any, conditions.