The State Government has made significant changes to legislation relating to the involvement of Aboriginal people on land and water managed by the Department of Parks and Wildlife.
These changes recognise Aboriginal connection to lands, and will enable Aboriginal people to become more involved in managing land and using parks and reserves for customary activities. They will help the department build strong relationships with Aboriginal people and provide opportunities to resolve native title.
The Conservation and Land Management Act 1984 (the CALM Act) and various regulations were amended in December 2012 to enable Aboriginal people to undertake certain activities for customary purposes on reserves and other lands.
These changes build on amendments to the CALM Act made in March 2012, which:
The ability to carry out customary activities is an important part of Aboriginal culture as it defines Aboriginal people’s fundamental connection to the land, as it “..expresses the vital linkage of Aboriginal people to their country, reinforces their spiritual beliefs governing their existence and responsibility for their land, and provides a means for passing on social and cultural knowledge to their children” (WA Law Reform Commission 2006).