The Authority seeks to achieve practical outcomes by recognising and respecting the interests of Aboriginal custodians, landowners and developers, and by fostering understanding and enhancing relations between Aboriginal custodians and others about sacred sites.
Anyone proposing to use or work on land in the Northern Territory may apply to the Authority for an Authority Certificate to cover their proposed activities. Certificates are based on consultations with custodians and provide clear instructions on what can and cannot be done in and around sacred sites. An Authority Certificate provides a statutory indemnity against prosecution in relation to the works or uses covered by the Certificate, provided the applicant complies with any conditions imposed to protect sacred sites. Certificates are voluntary and provide an effective risk management tool for developers and act as site protection measures for custodians.
Members of the public may seek advice on registered sacred sites by requesting access to the Register of Sacred Sites. The Authority provides abstracts of information to advise the public where sacred sites are known to exist so that they are not inadvertently damaged. The Authority also provides advice where sacred sites are likely to be at risk if works were to be carried out without more detailed information being sought first.