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Cultural Heritage Management Plans (CHMP)

A Cultural Heritage Management Plan is a written report, prepared by a Heritage Advisor. It contains the results of an assessment of the potential impact of the proposed activity on Aboriginal cultural heritage. A Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP) is required for an activity (the development or use of land) if all or part of the activity is a high impact activity and all or part of the activity area is an area of cultural heritage sensitivity.  

It outlines measures to be taken before, during and after an activity to manage and protect Aboriginal cultural heritage in the activity area. A CHMP determines how the proposed activity can be carried out while avoiding harm to any Aboriginal cultural heritage present. If this is not possible, it considers how to conduct the activity in a way that minimises harm.  

The need for a CHMP

Certain developments and other high impact activities in Victoria especially in culturally sensitive landscapes can cause significant harm to Aboriginal cultural heritage.

A Cultural Heritage Management Plan is a way of protecting and managing Aboriginal cultural heritage, with the involvement of Registered Aboriginal Parties, while allowing development to proceed.

Under the Aboriginal Heritage Amendment Act 2016 a Cultural Heritage Management Plan is required if all or part of the proposed activity is in an area of culture heritage sensitivity, and all, or part of the activity is a high impact 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.

CHMPs need to be created according to the Aboriginal Heritage Amendment Act 2016, which provides guidelines on how places and objects found should be recorded, protected, and managed.

CHMP requirements

Your development may be required to complete a Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP) to gain a permit application for your project if it is a:

  • Development that requires an Environment Effects Statement.
  • Larger scale residential or industrial subdivision on areas of cultural heritage sensitivity, which have not previously been significantly disturbed.
  • Substantial infrastructure or resource development project on areas of cultural heritage sensitivity, which have not previously been significantly disturbed.

Other circumstances may also attract a CHMP according to the Aboriginal Heritage Amendment Act 2016.

More certainty about CHMPs

The Preliminary Aboriginal Heritage Test (PAHT)

The PAHT was an amendment to the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 that came into effect from 1 August 2016. It provides more certainty about whether a CHMP is required for a project.

Other amendments proposed

  • Removing the requirement for a CHMP for certain small developments in urban areas.
  • A ‘stop the clock’ mechanism for CHMP’s
  • The ability to amend cultural heritage management plans (CHMPs) after approval
  • Greater powers have been granted to RAPs with a new ability to approve cultural heritage permits and act as enforcement officers
  • Recognition of marginalised traditional owners with the state allocating resourcing to assisting proponents in consultation when there is no RAP for a project area
  • AV (formerly OAAV) has instituted a new compliance unit in response to compliance issues which have been identified.
  • New fees introduced to support the administration of the Act;

A CHMP will identify whether your project will affect any Aboriginal heritage places or objects. You’ll get a CHMP report with a full assessment and recommendations on how to manage your impact - before, during, and after your project.

Process: Cultural Heritage Management Plans

We offer several options which can be tailored into a package depending on your project needs:

  • Preliminary Aboriginal heritage Tests (PAHTS)
  • Background Research / Desktop Assessment
  • Archaeological Survey / Standard Assessment
  • Archaeological Excavation / Complex Assessment.
  1. Research: includes investigation of
    • Past Cultural Heritage Management Plans for the area
    • Areas of cultural heritage sensitivity
    • Geological and environmental background
    • Vegetation
    • Previous land use and existing conditions of the activity area
    • Historic and current maps, including heritage overlay maps
    • Historic Aerial Photography
  2. Standard Assessment Archaeological Site Surveys
  3. Complex Assessment (Archaeological Excavation)
  4. Cultural Heritage Management report

You can expect us to take the lead from start to finish - we’ll also prompt you to fill in the right application forms at the appropriate times during the process.

Clients who use our services

  • Property Development Industry
  • Planning Consultants
  • Architects and Town Planners
  • Real Estate Agents
  • Indigenous Communities
  • Government
  • Property Developers
  • Landowners
  • Registered Aboriginal Parties (RAPs)
  • RAP applicants
  • Native Title Traditional Owners
  • Community groups
  • Other relevant stakeholders.

Cultural Heritage Assessments Service

  • Experienced Heritage Consultants
  • Ethical heritage advice
  • Cost effective and competitive pricing structure
  • Regular progress updates
  • Quick and thorough service
  • Best practices used in all cultural management assessments.


Our fees are known to be very competitive in the industry and we provide cost-effective heritage services. 

  • Report
  • Mapping
  • Consultation with you and Registered Aboriginal Parties (RAPs)
  • Excavation and resources required.

Expected timeframe

It differs according to your project. We’ll provide you with an estimate soon after our initial free consultation.  

Contact us to book in your free initial consultation or check out our projects.

Bradley Property Group required a CHMP for a permit application for subdivision in metropolitan Melbourne, and AKWP was recommended to us. We found that Keith took the time to clearly explain the CHMP process to us and kept us informed during the process.
We were very impressed with AWKP‘s professionalism, efficiency and their consultation with the Registered Aboriginal Party to gain approval for our development plans. Their price was competitive and we were very satisfied with the heritage services provided by AKWP Heritage Advisors.
-   Dave Bradley, Director

For more information on AKWP services & our consultative approach