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Award nomination highlights inter-agency teamwork
Monday, 9 July 2012
An interagency project that is improving the accuracy of registered Aboriginal heritage sites was recognised as a finalist in a recent awards ceremony.
The Aboriginal heritage project, a joint effort between the Department of Mines and Petroleum and the Department of Indigenous Affairs, was a finalist in the WA Institute of Public Administration achievement awards.
The project was a finalist in the Practice in Collaboration – across government agencies in the same jurisdiction category.
Department of Mines and Petroleum Director General Richard Sellers said the nomination was recognition for the two departments involved in the project.
“Improving the accuracy of the Aboriginal Heritage Register has increased the level of protection of these sites in Western Australia,” Mr Sellers said.
“During the 1960s and 70s the State Government identified areas important to Aboriginal heritage across Western Australia.
“However, the boundaries of some large sites introduced an element of uncertainty for some development project proposals, with the uncertainty impacting on stakeholder relationships.”
The Aboriginal Heritage Project addressed this issue by reviewing all large site boundaries to improve the accuracy of registered Aboriginal heritage sites.
“As a result the Aboriginal community is now more confident that the register more accurately reflects actual site boundaries, reducing potential conflict between land developers and Aboriginal communities,” Mr Sellers said.
“It also provides more certainty for mineral and petroleum tenement holders as the spatial boundaries of heritage sites are more clearly identified.”
The project involved a review of 531 historical Aboriginal heritage sites which resulted in a reduced area of 13,380 square kilometres, while one site increased from 100 sq km to 5415 sq km.
The project was initiated by DMP’s Aboriginal Heritage Working Group as part of the department’s approvals reform program.
The project was funded through DMP’s Exploration Incentive Scheme as a part of the State Government’s Royalties for Regions.
The winner of the award was the Department of Corrective Services
Regional Youth Justice Services project.