Indigenous Heritage Survey Design for Large Sites

© Krugloff | Dreamstime.comWhere? Tasmania

Who for? Developer - large utilities site

What we did:

Greenfield development must consider the potential for impact on indigenous heritage sites. The standard approach of surveying the bulk of the proposed site to form a risk assessment, and to identify any areas of significance is ok for small sites, but what if your site is tens of thousands of hectares? In Australia, it can be very difficult to survey large sites, so an alternative is required.

At this site (~50,000ha), we developed a robust and statistically sound methodology for assessing the potential impact of development on a region of possible indigenous heritage, whilst minimising both cost and invasive digging techniques. This is a staged approach, which can be adapted to assess

  • the overall likelihood of a significant site being present (and the likelihood you might miss something),
  • the likely density of sites and artefacts
  • inform more targeted searches in areas of high likelihood
  • incorporate specific site features, different areas, and local knowledge.

This method has application for any larger sites, whether they are mines, urban precincts or any large-scale infrastructure.

Elizabeth Stark