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Property development & Aboriginal heritage

Property development and Aboriginal heritage

Advitech’s Senior Archaeologist, Viki Gordon, presented a thought-provoking seminar at the Australian Institute of Conveyancers (NSW Division) Regional Speaking Day on Saturday 17 June hosted by Anchorage Resort Port Stephens.

Viki’s presentation was titled “What a Certified Practising Conveyancer (CPC) should know about Aboriginal heritage”. Viki was aware there was a general lack of knowledge about Aboriginal objects and sites amongst the legal, planning and environmental professions in both the statutory and commercial environments. She designed the presentation to educate and assist these professionals in realising what Aboriginal heritage is and how it relates to property transfers and property development.

Thousands of Aboriginal heritage objects exist across NSW in both private and publicly owned property yet many people remain unaware of what an Aboriginal object is and whether one might exist in their own backyard. Hefty penalties can be incurred for harming Aboriginal objects in the course of development.

By having a specialist in archaeology who was also a certified property conveyancer, Advitech is at the forefront of advising Local Government, legal practitioners, real estate agents and property developers about their obligations in regard to Aboriginal objects, property transfers and property development.

The fear of the unknown, combined with a lack of knowledge, often makes Aboriginal heritage unfamiliar and ignored territory. However, it doesn’t have to be a stressful process. There are guidelines and steps in place to identify and manage the finding of Aboriginal objects. Legal practitioners, amongst others, just need to be aware of the importance of Aboriginal objects in the property development process.