The Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) recognises that Aboriginal people are the traditional custodians of the lands and waters that it manages, and supports Aboriginal people connecting with country. The ability to carry out cultural activities on country is an important part of Aboriginal culture and connection to the land.
Recent changes to the law have extended opportunities for Aboriginal people to access DPaW-managed lands and waters to carry out customary activities.
Activities are considered to be done for an Aboriginal customary purpose if they involve traditional practices to do with:
No activity is considered customary if it is done for financial gain or reward.
The types of customary activities Aboriginal people are now able to do on DPaW -managed lands and waters include:
None of the changes to the law affect native title rights and interests.
A copy of DPaW’s Policy on Aboriginal Customary Activities can be found at
If you have any questions contact:
Aboriginal Heritage Unit
17 Dick Perry Avenue
Kensington, WA 6151
Locked Bag 104
Bentley Delivery Centre, WA 6983
P: (08) 9334 0283
There are some circumstances and places where customary activities could have significant impacts on environmentally sensitive areas or on public safety. To manage these impacts, written permission from the local DPaW office is needed for some activities in some places. See DPaW’s brochure for Aboriginal customary activities1.79 MB to find out more information.
Detailed information on customary activities in DPaW-managed land can be found in DPaW's Guide to Aboriginal customary activities3.52 MB.
General questions and answers about Aboriginal customary activities can be found in the DPaW Aboriginal customary activity FAQ sheet163.17 KB.
To find the legislation behind Aboriginal customary activities see section 103A of the Conservation and Land Management Act 1984 , section 23 of the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 , part 10 of the Conservation and Land Management Regulations 2002, regulation 131 of the Forest Management Regulations 1993 or regulations 63-65 of the Wildlife Conservation Regulations 1970 .
To apply for written permission, Aboriginal people should contact their local DPaW office or complete the application form and fax, post or hand it in to DPaW.
Animals and plants that are rare threatened or in need of special protection can only be taken with written permission. Exemptions exist for dugong, turtle and crocodile. To find out more, view the Threatened species and communities page.
To find out exactly where the metropolitan regions of the Perth and Peel region are, visit http://www.planning.wa.gov.au/640.asp.
Only people with firearms licences are allowed to use guns on DPaW -managed land. It is illegal to have or use an unlicensed firearm, or to have a firearm licence that has expired. It is the responsibility of the person hunting to make sure they shoot safely in accordance with the Firearms Act. For more information on applying for a firearms licence, visit: www.police.wa.gov.au/Ourservices/PoliceLicensingServices/Firearms/Licenceapplications/tabid/1905/Default.aspx