Consultation with Aboriginal communities
The department is committed to consulting with local Aboriginal communities throughout the construction of the centre. A representative from the Aboriginal community is on the Community Advisory Group to provide advice on the views of local Aboriginal communities to the Department of Justice and Regulation and the government on the project.
Aboriginal heritage values
The Department of Justice and Community Safety is working with the Registered Aboriginal Party (RAP) for the area, the Wathaurong Aboriginal Corporation, on a heritage assessment of the site. This assessment will then be used to help prepare a Cultural Heritage Management Plan by a Heritage Adviser in accordance with the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006. The plan will outline measures to be taken before, during and after an activity in order to manage and protect Aboriginal cultural heritage on the site.
The Cherry Creek site is within the lands of the Wathaurong people, and has a long history of use by them.
A cultural heritage assessment of the site has been undertaken to ensure its Aboriginal cultural values are understood and to identify any particular features that need to be protected.
This assessment has been done in consultation with the Wathaurong Aboriginal Corporation, as the Registered Aboriginal Party (RAP) for the area, and the results used to prepare a Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP) for the site.
What is a Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP)?
A CHMP is a written report prepared by a suitably qualified Heritage Adviser. It contains results of an assessment of the potential impact of a proposed activity on Aboriginal cultural heritage. It outlines measures to be taken before, during and after an activity in order to manage and protect Aboriginal cultural heritage in the activity area.
Why is a CHMP required?
A CHMP is required when high impact activities are planned in an area of cultural heritage sensitivity, as defined by the Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2007.
In such an area, planning permits, licences and work authorities can’t be issued unless a CHMP has been approved for the activity.
Areas of cultural heritage sensitivity are registered Aboriginal cultural heritage places, as well as landforms and land categories that are generally regarded as more likely to contain Aboriginal cultural heritage.
The Cherry Creek site is within a designated area of cultural heritage sensitivity.
How will the Cherry Creek CHMP be prepared?
Before the CHMP for the site was drafted, the Heritage Adviser for the project met with representatives of the Wathaurong Aboriginal Corporation to discuss the results of the cultural heritage assessment. The outcomes of this discussion were then used to prepare recommendations for managing the cultural heritage values of the site, including measures to preserve any artefacts found during the assessment.
Once the CHMP was drafted, it was submitted to the Wathaurong Aboriginal Corporation for comment. Any comments received will then be used to finalise the CHMP before it is resubmitted to the Corporation for approval. Construction work will not start on the site until this approval is given.