CHMPs & PAHTs
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 as it may not always be necessary to prepare a CHMP.
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. Preparing an assessment report requires a thorough investigation of the site and may include a due diligence report, researching of historical documents, photographs, site plans as well as partial sub-surface testing. Depending on the outcomes of these investigations it may be possible to demonstrate that the land has undergone significant ground disturbance in the past.
What if I do need a CHMP or a PAHT?
A Cultural Heritage Management Plan and PAHT may comprise desktop, field investigations and management recommendations.
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.
Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your project requirements.