An ACHLMA provides a mutually agreed framework for the protection and management of Aboriginal cultural heritage during routine land management activities in an RAP area. Aboriginal heritage and Torres Strait Islander is an important part of Australia`s heritage. Evidence of the occupation of Australia by Aborigines and Torres Strait Islander dates back more than 60,000 years. In addition to historical significance, indigenous heritage is of constant importance in creating and maintaining continuous ties with the people and the country. If cultural heritage is not represented by a RARB, certain agreements with traditional owners (most often local title agreements) that define how heritage can be influenced may also be approved under the Heritage Act. It includes indigenous experts who must be indigenous peoples with appropriate experience or expertise, at least one of whom represents the interests of indigenous peoples on the Council. The Aboriginal Minister may issue a standing directive on the protection of an Aboriginal cultural heritage place or object that is important to Aboriginal people. Aboriginal Heritage regulations and guidelines set out how the Aboriginal Heritage Act, 1988 operates. Practical advice on Aboriginal heritage management can be found in the following fact sheets.
The Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988 provides for the protection and conservation of Aboriginal heritage. Landowners and managers may also enter into formal voluntary agreements with a Registered Aboriginal Party (RAP) to manage and protect important Aboriginal places on their land.