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Cultural Heritage Management Plans & Preliminary Aboriginal Heritage Tests

A Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP) is a report for managing Aboriginal cultural heritage in compliance with the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006. The Preliminary Aboriginal Heritage Test (PAHT) is a recent amendment to the Aboriginal Heritage Act that provides formal certification of whether or not a project requires a CHMP. 


A CHMP is a requirement of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 for any development or ‘high impact activity’ that is undertaken within an area of ‘Cultural Heritage Sensitivity' as outlined in the Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2018. Areas of cultural heritage sensitivity are land forms and land categories that are generally regarded as more likely to contain Aboriginal cultural heritage. A registered Aboriginal cultural heritage place is also an area of cultural heritage sensitivity.

Councils will often ask developers to prepare a CHMP as a pre-condition for planning approval. Local councils are legally obliged to withhold approval of a planning application until an approved CHMP has been prepared if the development area is or contains an area of cultural heritage sensitivity; or the development is or involves a high impact activity – such as the subdivision of land.


ArchLink takes into consideration all aspects of the activity area when determining whether or not a CHMP is required.  Initially, a Cultural Heritage Assessment (CHA) report will identify if areas of cultural heritage sensitivity exist in your activity area. Exemptions may apply, for instance if prior 'significant ground disturbance' has occurred then it may not be necessary to prepare a CHMP and the cultural heritage assessment may satisfy council requirements. 


If a CHMP or PAHT is required it may comprise desktop, survey investigations and sub-surface testing. Complete management recommendations are submitted based on a thorough investigation of the site and will include a due diligence report, researching of historical documents, photographs, site plans as well as any survey and excavation results.

As qualified Cultural Heritage Advisors for over twenty years, ArchLink has the experience and skills to assist you in applying for and preparing a Cultural Heritage Management Plan. We have successfully completed hundreds of CHMPs and Preliminary test reports for our clients across Melbourne and Victoria.


To discuss your project requirements contact us on 03 9751 2889 or email

TP2 Spit 5 59-82 Dorsal
Little Yarra River
Little Yarra River
Little Yarra River
Little Yarra River
Little Yarra River
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