Applications for authorisation and determination

Before making a determination, giving an authorisation or declaring by regulation a site or object under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988, the Premier, as the Minister responsible for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, must take all reasonable steps to consult with:

  • the State Aboriginal Heritage Committee; and
  • any Aboriginal organisation, Traditional Owners and other Aboriginal people that, in opinion of the Minister, have an interest in the matter.

Current applications for authorisation

Applicant: Berri Barmera Council

Project: Lake Bonney Nature and Cultural Tourism Project

Application Area: Areas on or near to the foreshore of Lake Bonney in Barmera, SA

Application Type: Sections 21 and 23 of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988 (SA)

The Premier of South Australia, who is responsible for the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988 (SA) (Act), has received an application for authorisations under sections 21 and 23 of the Act from Berri Barmera Council (Applicant). The Applicant has sought the authorisations to enable the installation of low-impact tourism infrastructure on or near to the foreshore of Lake Bonney in Barmera, SA as part of its Lake Bonney Nature and Cultural Tourism Project (Project). The Applicant advises that the Project aims to improve eco-tourism in the Riverland, with a view to consolidating camping/day areas and creating a multiuse trail along the perimeter of the lake.

Section 21 of the Act makes it an offence to excavate land to uncover any Aboriginal site, object or remains (Aboriginal heritage) without authorisation, while section 23 of the Act makes it an offence to damage, disturb or interfere with Aboriginal heritage without authorisation.

The Applicant proposes to undertake the following activities within areas on or near to the foreshore of Lake Bonney (Application Area): formalising and upgrading vehicle access tracks, a multiuse trail, campgrounds, car parking and caravan layover areas; closing unauthorised tracks; installing amenities including fire pits and shelter structures with concrete bases, BBQs and picnic tables; installing signage; revegetation; screen planting; and placing rocks and timber logs.

The central archives, which include the Register of Aboriginal Sites and Objects, contain extensive records for Aboriginal sites within the Application Area. Lake Bonney also holds cultural significance to the Traditional Owners of the area for its associations with the Ngurunderi creation story.

Consultation Information Package

For detailed information about this application, please download a copy of the consultation information package:

Lake Bonney Consultation Information Package (PDF, 18.5 MB)

Consultation and submissions

Prior to considering whether to grant any authorisation under the Act, section 13 requires the Premier to consult with Traditional Owners, the State Aboriginal Heritage Committee, and any other Aboriginal people or bodies that he thinks may have an interest in the matter. Accordingly, verbal and written submissions are now invited from such parties about this application.

In line with social distancing considerations, no public meeting will be held for this consultation. Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation (AAR) will instead endeavour to directly contact Aboriginal parties with a known interest in the Application Area prior to the end of the consultation period. If you are not contacted directly, and wish to learn more and/or lodge a submission, please either call AAR on (08) 8226 8900, email DPC-AAR.CIR@sa.gov.au or write to:

Mr Peter Kapiris
Senior Project Officer (Heritage)
GPO Box 2343
ADELAIDE  SA 5001
Email: DPC-AAR.CIR@sa.gov.au

When making a submission, consultees should consider, and provide feedback on, the following key questions:

  1. Should the authorisations sought be granted to the Applicant? Why or why not?
  2. If the authorisations are granted, what conditions, if any, should be imposed on them?
  3. Are there any other matters that the Premier should be aware of when considering the application?

If you are an Aboriginal person with an interest in the Application Area, you are strongly encouraged to make a submission about the application before the consultation closing date.

The consultation period closes on Friday 19 March 2021.


For information about previous applications, please call Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation on (08) 8226 8900.