Councils are required to conduct a comprehensive assessment of all Aboriginal heritage impacts before granting consent to a development application. Decisions made at the development application stage will be more robust if informed by a higher, strategic level of assessment that ideally has been incorporated in land use planning. Such an assessment also offers opportunities for councils to streamline their assessment and approvals process.
Councils are required to consider the impacts of any development proposal on Aboriginal heritage and Aboriginal communities as part of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of a development application. The EIA ensures that all environment impacts are thoroughly considered before an application is lodged. Development activities that will directly or indirectly harm an Aboriginal object or declared Aboriginal place also require OEH consent that takes the form of an Aboriginal Heritage Impact Permit (AHIP).