Aboriginal Heritage and Native Title

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of Western Australia’s lands and aim to protect Aboriginal cultural values wherever possible. We seek to achieve full compliance with statutory requirements and have developed an Aboriginal heritage assessment process ensuring compliance with Western Australia’s Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972. We also work closely with other State government agencies including the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (DPLH) and the Department of Premier and Cabinet to ensure robust Aboriginal heritage processes are established and followed.

We aim to avoid, minimise and reduce impacts to Aboriginal heritage sites wherever practicable. All of our activities are screened for potential impacts in compliance with the DPLH Due Diligence Guidelines using our internal Aboriginal Heritage Risk Assessment. We value the input and contribution of Traditional owners and seek their advice and opinions regarding potential impacts via site surveys and other consultation processes. In our endeavour to protect Aboriginal cultural values we also liaise with other stakeholders including Prescribed Body Corporates, Native Title Representative Bodies, other Aboriginal Corporations and direct engagement with relevant community groups and Traditional Owners informants. Where it is not possible to avoid an impact to an Aboriginal site, we seek consent to undertake works from the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs under Section 18 of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972.

Consultation with Aboriginal community representatives is important to understand the extent and significance of heritage localities, particularly when not yet adequately recorded. We were the first and currently the only government agency to execute the Noongar Standard Heritage Agreement as part of the South West Native Title Settlement (SWNTS) Indigenous Land Use Agreement. The SWNTS area covers all of Main Roads South West and Metropolitan regions and sections of our Wheatbelt, Great Southern and Midwest – Gascoyne regions. The SWNTS area is shown on this map.

We comply with the processes and responsibilities under the Native Title Act 1993. We address Native Title obligations early in project planning, notifying and, if applicable, receive comments from Native Title Registered Claimants/Holders and Native Title Representative Bodies (Land Councils) with whom we aim to maintain good relations. Our road network transects the following Areas of Native Title Claims and Determinations.

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Image: A culturally modified (scarred) treeImage: Boomerang found during a field survey​


European Heritage

European heritage sites are locations or objects which are usually more than 60 years old and are deemed to be significant due to their aesthetic, historic, scientific or social attributes. Heritage places include buildings, gardens, structures (including bridges), non-Aboriginal archaeological sites, industrial sites and cemeteries. Heritage places in WA are protected by the Heritage Act 1990.

Our approach to European heritage is to fully comply with the requirements of the Heritage Act 1990 and the Government Heritage Property Disposal Process, and to avoid impacting Heritage places where possible. Whether a project will impact on a Heritage place must be considered early in the planning stages of a project and appropriate processes followed.

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Image: St Andrews Church

Modified: 12 Apr 2018