Information for planners and developers

Picture of a dirt tracks with a touch of water and green grassThe endurance of Aboriginal society across Australia is of global significance and the cultural heritage places and objects associated with Aboriginal society are a significant part of the heritage of all Australians. More importantly, they are a fundamental part of Aboriginal community life and cultural identity. To learn more read Aboriginal Cultural Heritage is important to all Victorians.

The Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 (the Act) and Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2007 (the Regulations) provides for the protection and management of Victoria's Aboriginal heritage with processes linked to the Victorian planning system.

The legislation provides protection for all Aboriginal places, objects and human remains regardless of their inclusion on the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register or whether they are located on public or private land.

The Act also provides clear guidance to planners and developers about when, and how, Aboriginal cultural heritage needs to be considered, and in some situations work cannot proceed until compliance is met. Large developments and other high impact activities in culturally sensitive landscapes can cause significant harm to Aboriginal cultural heritage. In these situations the Act may require the preparation of a Cultural Heritage Management Plan or the planner or developer may need to obtain a cultural heritage permit.

Cultural Heritage Management Plans

Cultural Heritage Management Plans (The Plan) are a way of protecting and managing Aboriginal cultural heritage, with the involvement of Registered Aboriginal Parties, while allowing development to proceed.

Some activities which will require a Cultural Heritage Management Plan are:

Aboriginal Heritage Planning Tool

A simple way to check whether a Cultural Heritage Management Plan is required for a proposed activity is to use the Aboriginal heritage planning tool and follow the prompts.

See also Cultural Heritage Management Plans and When will a Cultural Heritage Management Plan be required?

Aboriginal places or objects on private or public property

The Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 requires that the discovery of Aboriginal cultural heritage places or objects on any public or private land in Victoria be reported to the Aboriginal Victoria. Landowners who believe they may have found an Aboriginal place or object on their land can find out what to do by visiting the page Reporting a possible Aboriginal place or object.

If suspected human remains are discovered, you must contact the Victoria Police and the State Coroner's Office immediately. If there are reasonable grounds to believe that the remains are Aboriginal, the Coronial Admissions and Enquiries hotline must be contacted on 1300 309 519.

Further Information

Contact for further information.

Read the Exploration Licence Advisory Note to learn the obligations for exploration license holders when undertaking works:

Read the Geotechnical Investigations Advisory Note to learn about what to consider when undertaking geotechnical investigations:

Other pages developers and planners may find useful are the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 and Aboriginal Heritage Act – Guides and forms.

Last updated on Thursday, 13 October 2016