Indigenous Advisory Committee appointments

5 January 2023

Minister for the Environment and Water Tanya Plibersek has today announced the next Indigenous Advisory Committee to advise on environment, heritage, policy and consultation. 

The committee’s role is to advise the Environment Minister on the operation of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), taking into account the significance of First Nations peoples' knowledge of the management of land and sea, and the conservation of biodiversity.

The successful appointees have a mix of skills, experience and expertise in Indigenous land and sea management, conservation, sustainable use of biodiversity and cultural heritage management.

The Committee is a statutory committee established under Australia’s national environment law, the EPBC Act.

Mr Duane Fraser has been reappointed as chair of the Committee for another year.  

Mr Fraser is a Wulgurukaba and Bidjara Traditional Owner and has extensive experience advising Commonwealth and State Governments relating to Indigenous Affairs and environmental policy. 

The committee has been appointed for the next 3 years. Further information can be found here: Indigenous Advisory Committee operating under the EPBC Act - DCCEEW

Quotes attributable to the Minister for the Environment and Water Tanya Plibersek:

“First Nations people have managed land and sea country for over 65,000 years. 

“Australia’s First Nations are the world’s oldest continuous culture, and the most successful environmental custodians on earth. 

“Our government is committed to working in partnership with First Nations in line with commitments through the National Agreement on Closing the Gap. 

“Through our recently announced Nature Positive Plan, which outlines our vision for national environment law reform, we will ensure the role of the Indigenous Advisory Committee is enhanced to give First Nations people a stronger voice in environmental protection.

“As part of our environment law reform process the Indigenous Advisory Committee will lead the co-design of a National Environmental Standard for First Nations engagement and participation in decision-making. 

“This standard will be developed as a priority and will involve ongoing engagement with First Nations people.

“This standard will ensure First Nations cultural heritage is identified early and can be protected as projects are designed.”