Legislation working its way through the Tasmanian parliament will change the way Aboriginal heritage in Tasmania is protected.
These changes may affect Landcarers, so read on for more information.
The Tasmanian Aboriginal Relics Act is designed to protect Aboriginal heritage in Tasmania. One of the changes being made is to remove the defence of ignorance for damage to Aboriginal sites and relics - be they stone artefacts, middens, rock markings or shelters.
What does that mean for Landcarers working on the ground
The changes to the Act should not expose Landcarers to risk of prosecution, so long as some basic steps are followed. A new online property search is being developed that will check for known Aboriginal heritage sites in the vicinity. You'll only need to enter the relevant property number. We'll let you know when that becomes operational, as checking for the presence of known sites can be done quickly and easily.
What happens if we find something in our work
Anything you suspect could be an Aboriginal relic should be reported. The most important thing is to take photographs and record the context and location. And if you find stone artefacts its fine to pick them up and examine them. In fact you can use a scale card (right) to record its size in a photograph. Just put the stone back when you're done.
Did you know...
Tasmanian Aboriginal people are the only group of humans to evolve in isolation for 10,000 years, with the flooding of Bass Strait at the end of the last glacial period.