Con­cern over Her­itage Act

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

Ya­matji Marlpa Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion chair­woman Doris Ea­ton has de­cried the lack of progress made on amend­ments to the Abo­rig­i­nal Her­itage Act one year on from the first Yule River meet­ing.

But Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Terry Red­man de­nied last year’s meet­ing had not had an im­pact.

“(Pil­bara MLA) Bren­dan (Grylls) came into our party room last year and said: ‘I went to this meet­ing here sup­port­ing the Bill, I came out of the meet­ing not sup­port­ing it and some changes need to be made,’” he said.

“The Na­tion­als have put those amend­ments into the mix and have been ne­go­ti­at­ing with (Abo­rig­i­nal Af­fairs Min­is­ter) Peter Col­lier about where that Bill is at.

“I sus­pect that is one of the rea­sons why it has stalled in the (lower) house, not to men­tion some of the le­gal chal­lenges that have re­cently hap­pened.”

Mr Red­man said there were as­pects of the Bill he was ea­ger to progress that would ben­e­fit Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple.

Shadow Abo­rig­i­nal af­fairs min­is­ter Ben Wy­att said Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple had been an­gered that ex­ten­sive con­sul­ta­tion re­gard­ing the Bill had seem­ingly been ig­nored by the Gov­ern­ment.

“The Bar­nett Gov­ern­ment’s pro­posed amend­ments to the AHA in­volve re­mov­ing any Abo­rig­i­nal per­son from a statu­tory right to be in­volved,” he said.

“If that comes on in its cur­rent form … I in­tend to move a range of amend­ments which em­bed the right of Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple to be spo­ken to about is­sues around their her­itage, give them the same ac­cess to the State Ad­min­is­tra­tive Tri­bunal that min­ing groups and other third par­ties (have), and sim­ply make what is a very bad piece of leg­is­la­tion fairer.

“Ul­ti­mately, I don’t think the leg­is­la­tion can be saved, but I think it can be made fairer and bet­ter for the Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple.”

YMAC chief ex­ec­u­tive Si­mon Hawkins said Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple were not another stake­holder to con­sult, they were the cus­to­di­ans.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

WA shadow Abo­rig­i­nal af­fairs min­is­ter Ben Wy­att.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.