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Coalition to invest $12 million to protect Aboriginal cultural heritage

  • $12 million over four years to sustainably fund Traditional Owner organisations
  • $13 million red tape reductions and greater certainty for business
  • Coalition committed to protecting Victoria’s Aboriginal cultural heritage

 

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Tim Bull today announced a re-elected Coalition Government will invest almost $12 million over four years to strengthen the protection of Victoria’s rich Aboriginal cultural heritage.

Mr Bull said for the first time Aboriginal Traditional Owner organisations would be sustainably funded to deliver heritage protection services and facilitate economic development.

“The Coalition values the central role of Traditional Owners in making decisions about their cultural heritage,” Mr Bull said.

“Aboriginal people have made an important contribution to Victoria over the past 40,000 years and it is vital this cultural heritage is preserved for the benefit of current and future generations.

“Victoria has a world class system for protecting Aboriginal cultural heritage but the Traditional Owner organisations charged with managing that heritage and engaging with developers have historically not been funded adequately to do so,” Mr Bull said.

Mr Bull said as a result of the Government’s strong economic management, the Coalition will be able to increase future funding for Traditional Owner organisations to sustainable levels during the next term of office.

“Aboriginal organisations such as the Ballarat-based Wathaurung Aboriginal Corporation will see cultural heritage management funding increased from $30,000 this year to $300,000 by 2017,” Mr Bull said.

“Improving the funding of Traditional Owners to protect cultural heritage will deliver an estimated $13 million in red tape reductions for Victorian businesses over four years and will support economic development across metropolitan and regional Victoria.

“This election commitment builds on the Coalition Government’s $3.1 million Aboriginal cultural heritage package announced in this year’s State Budget,” Mr Bull said.

Mr Bull said a re-elected Coalition Government will also continue to consult with Traditional Owners and land users on proposed amendments to strengthen the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 by enhancing the role of the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council in monitoring the performance of Traditional Owner organisations.