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It is evident to agribusinesses and family farmers in the Esperance region that the successful implementation of the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act necessitates a robust framework that addresses both practical and philosophical considerations.
Has the state government taken proactive measures to ensure that the voices of those directly affected by the regulations are heard and incorporated?
The concerns expressed by our local community following Monday's event at the Civic Centre suggest that there has been insufficient stakeholder engagement throughout the decision-making process. Every stakeholder impacted by the Act holds inherent worth and contributes to equitable and sustainable outcomes.
There is a lack of clarity regarding the identification of Aboriginal cultural heritage on land owned by farmers and homeowners across our region. Are we expected to bear the burden of financial and logistical challenges to access this knowledge, or should the government assume a more proactive role in facilitating the survey process?
While the Act fundamentally aims to give First Nations people a greater say in managing their cultural heritage, I must reiterate: has the state government taken proactive measures to ensure that the voices of those directly affected by the regulations are heard and incorporated?
Lawyers representing Traditional Owners are advocating for increased funding for First Nations groups responsible for addressing and managing cultural heritage issues that may arise in relation to development projects. This funding would help ensure that these groups have the necessary resources and capacity to effectively engage with project proponents and safeguard Indigenous cultural heritage.
I suspect, there isn't a grower in the region who doesn't want to protect Aboriginal cultural heritage. However, the lack of clarity and practical guidance on how to navigate the new Aboriginal cultural heritage legislation has left many growers uncertain about the specific actions they need to take to ensure the protection of cultural heritage while also maintaining their agricultural operations.
Where do we go from here?
How do we navigate the intersection of economic development and the preservation of Indigenous cultural values?
Is there sufficient readiness and capacity among all parties involved to effectively comply with the new legislation and ensure the protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage?
These are the questions I pose to the state government.
Where do you stand on the issue?
The Government has reinvigorated the 120% skills training and technology costs deduction for small and medium business.
An election ago, the 2022-23 Budget proposed a 120% tax deduction for expenditure by small and medium businesses on technology, or skills and training for their staff. This proposal has now been adopted by the current Government and details released in recent exposure draft by Treasury.
From 1 July 2022, the standard Superannuation Guarantee (SG) rate increased from 10% up to 10.5%. It’s part of the government’s commitment to increase the SG by half a percent each year until 2025, when the SG rate will reach 12%.
The Australian Federal Budget 2022 was delivered on 29 March 2022 by the Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.
See our breakdown of the tax measures impacting small business in Australia.
Smith Shearer, in collaboration with Kitto and Kitto Lawyers, will be hosting the ECCI Business After Hours on 12 August 2021
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