Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Approval - Western Australia


You may need approval if you intend to conduct an activity where there may be an impact to Aboriginal cultural heritage.

If there is no impact to Aboriginal cultural heritage, no approval is required. Approval won't be needed for jobs like farmers planting a crop, running livestock, or replacing existing infrastructure, if the work is the same as what has been done before (like-for-like activities).

If there is Aboriginal cultural heritage present, your activity may require a permit, or may require consultation or an agreement with the local Aboriginal people.

The type of approval required is based on the level of your activity, the scale of disturbance and the potential to impact Aboriginal cultural heritage.

Exempt - Minor activity (no approval is required):

  • Residential development on land less than 1100sqm.
  • Like for like activities - within the same footprint, and to the same depth.
  • General maintenance and maintaining existing water, electricity and other services infrastructure.
  • Installing a patio, granny flat, pool, carport, verandah or deck on residential properties.
  • Ploughing, running livestock, replacing a fence or seeding an existing paddock on farms.
  • A range of other exemptions also apply.

Tier 1 - Low amount of activity (no approval):

  • Where there is no, or minimal level, ground disturbance, but where there is a risk of harm to Aboriginal cultural heritage, the activity may proceed subject to a requirement to undertake all reasonable steps possible to avoid or minimise harm to Aboriginal cultural heritage. 
  • Installing a fence in a way that does not involve clearing is a Tier 1 activity and does not need approval.

Tier 2 - Medium activity (permit required):

  • For activities involving low-level ground disturbance, the Act establishes a permit system based around due diligence and application to the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Council. 
  • This could include erecting or installing a stock watering point or a yard. 
  • Amalgamating lots and constructing villa style housing.

Tier 3 - High level of activity (management plan required):

  • Activities that involve moderate to high level ground disturbance will require an Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Management Plan to be negotiated with the relevant Aboriginal parties.
  • This includes a new mine site, deep excavation or land clearing, subdivisions or major construction projects.

Service type


A licence defines the need to obtain recognition / certification and registration to undertake a certain business activity.

Eligibility requirements

Please contact the agency to identify any eligibility requirements.


As specified


Fees Details for this service in table format.

Task Type Business Structure Description
Apply Application All

Fees for 2023-24:

  • There is no fee for Tier 1 activities as they do not require authorisation. 
  • If your activity is classified as Tier 2, a permit will be required. If you need advice from a Local Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Services (LACHS) to inform your permit application, the maximum fee that may be charged for these services is $500. The permit itself will be a nominal $100 administrative fee.
  • If the activity is classified as Tier 3, an Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Management Plan may be required in consultation with the right Aboriginal people to speak for that Country. A scale of fixed and variable fees will apply for government agencies and commercial proponents seeking approval or authorisation for a management plan.

Find out more information about the management plan fee information.

There are also Local ACH Service prescribed fees for services provided by a LACHS officer.

Approval time

Prescribed timeframes have been set for certain processes.

Administering agency

Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage

Contact details

Contact Email, Phone and Address Details for this service in simple two column table format, header then data.