Letters of Advice


A Letter of Advice (also referred to as an LoA) is typically used to outline your legislative requirements under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 and the Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2018. These documents are straight-forward and cost effective, and are most often used to provide expert advice about the nature of a proposed activity, areas of mapped cultural heritage sensitivity and/or the presence of significant ground disturbance, to advise whether a mandatory CHMP is required.

A Letter of Advice may also be prepared in the instance that more complex preliminary advice is necessary to determine whether a mandatory CHMP is required. For example, if a particular activity description is not well defined under the Victorian Planning Provisions and it is unclear whether it constitutes a ‘high impact activity’ under the Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2018.

What you need to know about Letters of Advice

A Letter of Advice is a simple and budget friendly way to provide expert advice to council or other relevant statutory body in regard to your responsibilities under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 and the Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2018; or to provide you with expert preliminary advice about the nature of a proposed activity or activity area.

A Letter of Advice can formally advise whether a mandatory Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP) is required for your activity.

These documents can often be provided to council in support of a planning permit, however; it should be noted that a Letter of Advice cannot be approved or certified by Aboriginal Victoria (AV), and some councils, particularly those whose areas encompass large areas of mapped cultural heritage sensitivity, may be reluctant to accept a Letter of Advice.

Consequently, it is advised that landowners and developers conduct the appropriate due diligence and do not make assumptions about their legislative needs and obligations under the Act or Regulations.

Our Archaeologists/Heritage Advisors at Jem Archaeology are best placed to help assess whether a Letter of Advice is a suitable form of documentation for your planned activity and will happily guide you through this process.

What is included in a Letter of Advice

If a Letter of Advice is deemed suitable for your proposed activity, our expert Heritage Advisors at Jem Archaeology will tailor your Letter of Advice to suit your requirements and provide the highest quality expert advice. Letters of Advice are prepared on a case by case basis according to your specific needs, and may include:

  • Description of land use history;
  • Description of current property conditions;
  • Confirmation of whether your proposed activity is a ‘high impact activity’ as defined under the Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2018;
  • Identification and evaluation of areas of mapped ‘cultural heritage sensitivity’ within your activity area, as defined under the Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2018;
  • Identification of any previously recorded Aboriginal places within your activity area;
  • Evaluation of ‘significant ground disturbance’ as defined under the Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2018; and
  • Formal advice as to whether a mandatory CHMP is required for your proposed activity.

In some instances, Jem Archaeology may recommend a site visit be included to assist the preparation of a Letter of Advice.

A Letter of Advice takes approximately two weeks to prepare.

How much does a Letter of Advice cost?

Letters of Advice are prepared on a case by case basis, and are tailored to your specific activity area or proposed activity. Consequently, the cost of a Letter of Advice can vary.

However, the more information your Heritage Advisor has available on the activity area and proposed activity, the more cost effective the process will be. The following documents can help assist our team to efficiently prepare the best advice:

  • Designs/details of the proposed activity;
  • Previous archaeological, geotechnical or built heritage reports;
  • Planning history and building permits issued previously;
  • Any other documents or reports relevant to the property.

The Jem Archaeology Difference: How we can assist with your Letter of Advice needs

Jem Archaeology have been trusted by developers, architects, town planners, government and regulatory bodies and councils for the preparation of Letters of Advice for over eight years.

Our experience, knowledge and intricate understanding of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 and the Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2018 enable us to provide high level, expert advice regarding your regulatory responsibilities and obligations.

Our extensive experience working across Victoria has enabled Jem Archaeology to build strong working relationships with local government areas and RAPs/Aboriginal Traditional Owner groups across the state. Consequently, we are familiar with and understand the requirements and preferences of many local councils across Victoria and as such, Jem Archaeology are well placed to assess if a Letter of Advice is suitable for you and your proposed activity.

Should a Letter of Advice not be the most suitable document for your proposed activity, our expert Heritage Advisors can guide you through the best option for your project.

How much does an HHA cost?

HHAs are prepared on a case by case basis, and the level of assessment required is dependent on a number of factors; consequently, the cost of an HHA may vary. Jem Archaeology prides itself on providing clients with the most cost effective budgeting framework, whilst still delivering expert advice and high quality outcomes.

Our upfront advice and vast experience in conducting HHAs combined with our intricate understanding of the Heritage Act 2017 allows us to provide you with transparent costings that reflect what you are most likely to incur. Our Archaeologists are happy to discuss your individual needs and provide you with a tailored budget framework that will suit your needs.

Trusting Jem Archaeology with your HHA

Jem Archaeology has been trusted by developers, architects, town planners, government and regulatory bodies and councils for the preparation of HHAs for over eight years. Our experience, knowledge and intricate understanding of the relevant legislation and regulatory requirements, combined with our vast experience working across Victoria enables us to provide to provide accurate advice and high quality outcomes. We have the advantage of a team of multi-disciplined archaeologists with international experience, who’s individual specialties can cater for any project.

Our staff specialise in the following sub-disciplines:

  • Historical survey, excavation and salvage;
  • Historical artefact identification and analysis;
  • Zooarchaeology;
  • Bioarchaeology;
  • Lithic identification and analysis;
  • Shell identification and analysis;
  • Archaeological research and analysis.

Led by Jem Archaeology Director, Principal Archaeologist and Heritage Advisor Jen Burch, you can count on the expertise of our team to guide you through this process.

8

YEARS ESTABLISHED

460

PROJECTS

300

CHMPS

100

LETTERS OF ADVICE

“Jen Burch of Jem Archaeology has provided clear and precise advice, has identified and addressed issues in a practical, transparent and ethical manner and has provided incredible value for money. She has vast knowledge of cultural management and heritage issues, has great rapport with Indigenous parties and has the capacity to efficiently identify and deal with issues that arise. Jen delivers speedy, cost efficient and ethical outcomes. I have no hesitation in recommending Jen Burch and Jem Archaeology to any group or organisation dealing with matters within her area of expertise.”

THOMAS LINDSEY

Warrnambool Project Design and
Development Pty Ltd, 2016

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