David Caruso on Aboriginal Heritage Act

English with interpretation
Interview with Pitjantjatjara/Yankunytjatjara interpretation
David Caruso, President of SA Law Society

David Caruso, President of SA Law Society

This week’s Paper Tracker interview is with the President of the Society, Mr David Caruso. We find out about the work of the Law Society of South Australia and we hear about Mr Caruso’s views on proposed cut backs in funding for regional and remote courts in South Australia. These funding cuts include the plan to no longer have court reporters in regional courts and duty solicitors no longer being funded to travel to the APY Lands to provide legal support or attend the APY Court Circuit.

Mr Caruso also talks about the process that was followed for making changes to the SA Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988. He says that the Law Society was not satisfied with the way that changes to the Act were brought about – there was not proper consultation with Aboriginal organisations and there was not enough time for members of Parliament to debate and consult on the changes.

He begins by talking about the steps that should be followed when changes to legislation are introduced, then comments on whether these steps were followed when the amendments to the SA Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988 were made, resulting in the Aboriginal Heritage (Miscellaneous) Amendment Act 2016. He points out the dangers of not consulting with key organisations and the broader community and indicates that this serves to undermine ‘buy-in’ and trust in the legal system.

Mr Caruso shares his thoughts on the deletion of Section 6.2 from the Act and the implications of this on the rights of Aboriginal communities in protecting their heritage, and for existing S6.2 applications. [Section 6.2 states: ‘The Minister must, at the request of the traditional owners of an Aboriginal site or object, delegate the Minister’s powers under sections 21, 23, 29 and 35 to the traditional owners of the site or object’.]

You can find out more about the changes to the SA Aboriginal Heritage Act on the Paper Tracker website here.

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