The Cultural Record (Landscapes Queensland and Queensland Estate) Act 1987 replaced the Aboriginal Relics Preservation Act 1967. The provisions of both Acts reflect a European conception of cultural heritage that focuses mainly on material culture, especially that which is historically, artistically and archaeologically significant. Since the promulgation of the earlier Act, cultural heritage management practice has been challenged to respond to new directions which are moving away from a dependence on the archaeological paradigm to a more anthropological approach. The challenge to most CHM professionals is to ensure Aboriginal involvement in all areas of cultural heritage management.
I outline three case studies that employ innovative approaches by cultural heritage managers. These approaches reflect the new directions in cultural heritage management and may provide models for future management practice. However, the case studies also indicate how practice has outstripped the provisions of the legislation. My argument is that the current Queensland Act no longer reflects modem cultural heritage practice and therefore, the legislation needs to be reviewed and amended. To this purpose, I have made an examination of the theoretical underpinnings of the Cultural Record (Landscapes Queensland and Queensland Estate) Act 1987 and followed this by offering recommendations for amendments to the Act.