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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Bill 1998

Part 2 The Director of Indigenous Heritage Protection and the Register

Division 1 The Director of Indigenous Heritage Protection

9   Director of Indigenous Heritage Protection

                   There is established by this Act a Director of Indigenous Heritage Protection.

10   Functions of Director

                   The Director has the following functions:

                     (a)  to advise the Minister in relation to the accreditation of the laws of a State or self-governing Territory as an accredited heritage protection regime in relation to a particular matter or matters;

                     (b)  to receive, and accept or reject, applications for protection of areas or objects in Australia or in Australian waters;

                     (c)  to establish and maintain a register in which applications for protection, and the outcomes of those applications, are recorded;

                     (d)  to take appropriate action, as required under this Act, in relation to indigenous human remains that are reported or delivered to the Director;

                     (e)  as required under this Act, to facilitate negotiation or mediation between applicants for protection and other affected persons;

                      (f)  as required under this Act, to assess the significance of, or threat to, areas and objects in respect of which an application for protection has been received;

                     (g)  as required under this Act, to report to the Minister on the assessments referred to in paragraph (f) and on the effect that the making of a protection order may have on other interests;

                     (h)  to do any other thing for which this Act or any other Act provides.

11   Director’s appointment

             (1)  The Director is to be appointed by the Minister on such terms and conditions, subject to this Act, as are specified in the instrument of appointment. The Director may be appointed on a full-time basis or a part-time basis.

             (2)  A person is not qualified to be appointed unless the Minister is satisfied that the person has an understanding of indigenous culture and heritage and an ability to deal with indigenous persons in a culturally sensitive manner.

             (3)  If the Director is appointed on a part-time basis, he or she may not engage in any paid employment that, in the opinion of the Minister, conflicts with the proper performance of the Director’s functions.

12   Director’s term of office

                   Subject to sections 17 and 18, the Director holds office for such period, not exceeding 5 years, as is specified in the instrument of appointment, but is eligible for re-appointment.

13   Director’s remuneration and allowances

             (1)  The Director is to be paid such remuneration as is determined by the Remuneration Tribunal.

             (2)  If no determination of that remuneration by the Remuneration Tribunal is in operation, the Director is to be paid such remuneration as is determined, in writing, by the Minister.

             (3)  The Director is to be paid such allowances as are determined, in writing, by the Minister.

             (4)  A determination by the Minister for the purposes of subsection (2) or (3) is a disallowable instrument for the purposes of section 46A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 .

             (5)  This section has effect subject to the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973 .

14   Leave of absence

             (1)  Subject to section 87E of the Public Service Act 1922 , the Director is to have such recreation leave entitlements as are determined by the Remuneration Tribunal.

             (2)  The Minister may grant the Director leave of absence (other than recreation leave) on such terms and conditions, as to remuneration or otherwise, as the Minister determines in writing.

15   Acting Director

             (1)  The Minister may appoint a person to act as the Director:

                     (a)  during a vacancy in the office of Director; or

                     (b)  during any period, or during all periods, when the Director is absent from duty or from Australia or is, for any reason, unable to perform the duties of the office;

but a person appointed to act during a vacancy must not continue so to act for more than 12 months.

             (2)  Anything done by or in relation to a person purporting to act under this section is not invalid merely because:

                     (a)  the occasion for the appointment had not arisen; or

                     (b)  there was a defect or irregularity in connection with the appointment; or

                     (c)  the appointment had ceased to have effect; or

                     (d)  the occasion to act had not arisen or had ceased.

16   Disclosure of interests

             (1)  The Director must make a written disclosure to the Minister of:

                     (a)  the Director’s financial interests; and

                     (b)  the financial interests of the Director’s immediate family;

equivalent to the disclosure of financial interests required to be made by officers of the Australian Public Service who are members of the Senior Executive Service.

             (2)  The Director must make a disclosure under subsection (1) within one month after being appointed as Director.

             (3)  The Director must from time to time make such further disclosures as are necessary to ensure that the information available to the Minister about the financial interests of the Director, and of the members of the Director’s immediate family, is up-to-date.

17   Resignation

                   The Director may resign by writing signed by him or her and sent to the Minister.

18   Termination of appointment

                   The Minister may terminate the appointment of the Director because of incompetence, misbehaviour or physical or mental incapacity, or if the Director:

                     (a)  is absent from duty, except on leave granted under section 14, for 14 consecutive days or for 28 days in any period of 12 months; or

                     (b)  becomes bankrupt; or

                     (c)  applies to take the benefit of any law for the relief of bankrupt or insolvent debtors; or

                     (d)  compounds with his or her creditors; or

                     (e)  makes an assignment of his or her remuneration for the benefit of his or her creditors; or

                      (f)  fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with section 16; or

                     (g)  engages in paid employment outside the duties of the office of Director without the written consent of the Minister.

19   Director not personally liable

                   The Director is not personally liable to an action or other proceeding for damages in relation to anything done or omitted to be done in good faith by the Director in the capacity of Director.

20   Staff

                   The staff required to assist the Director in the performance of his or her functions are to be appointed or employed under the Public Service Act 1922 .

21   Consultants

             (1)  The Director may engage persons having suitable qualifications and experience as consultants.

             (2)  The terms and conditions of engagement are to be determined by the Director.

             (3)  If:

                     (a)  a person is engaged as a consultant under subsection (1); and

                     (b)  the Director determines, as part of the terms and conditions of the engagement of that person, that this subsection applies to the person;

the person is not personally liable to an action or other proceeding for damages in relation to anything done or omitted to be done in good faith by the person in the capacity of such a consultant.



 

Division 2 The Register of Claims for Protection

22   The Register of Claims for Protection

             (1)  There is established by this section a register to be known as the Register of Claims for Protection.

             (2)  The Register is to be maintained by the Director.

             (3)  The Register may be kept by the use of a computer.

23   Inspection of the Register

                   The Director must ensure that the public has reasonable access to the Register for the purpose of inspection.