Ef­fects of her­itage list­ing

Pilbara News - - Opinion - Peter Long

Pre­mier Colin Bar­nett was in Kar­ratha on Au­gust 25 for the open­ing of Yara’s new Am­mo­nium Ni­trate Plant.

The Pre­mier spoke about the pos­si­bil­ity of the Bur­rup Penin­su­lar/Mu­ru­juga be­com­ing listed as a World Her­itage site.

Listed places get more me­dia at­ten­tion and thus, more tourists along with ex­tra money and em­ploy­ment for lo­cals. How­ever, the in­flux of vis­i­tors may do more harm than good if a site is not man­aged to pre­vent po­ten­tial im­pacts to a site.

It may also un­der­mine a coun­try’s right to make de­ci­sions about its own her­itage.

World Her­itage list­ing does not af­fect own­er­ship rights — these re­main as prior to nom­i­na­tion. State and lo­cal laws still ap­ply. World Her­itage prop­er­ties in Aus­tralia do not be­come Com­mon­wealth prop­erty, nor do they be­come the prop­erty of any in­ter­na­tional body or for­eign power.

The Aus­tralian Govern­ment has an in­ter­na­tional obli­ga­tion to pro­tect and con­serve World Her­itage prop­er­ties, but there is no im­ped­i­ment to ex­ist­ing land uses un­less they threaten any of the outstanding univer­sal val­ues of the prop­erty.

Ex­pe­ri­ence shows that list­ing does not nec­es­sar­ily limit the range of ac­tiv­i­ties that can be car­ried out on a prop­erty, ei­ther.

Nom­i­na­tion for World Her­itage list­ing re­quires the author­ity to iden­tify the in­dige­nous peo­ple with rights and in­ter­ests in the place and to in­vite their views.

The Min­is­ter takes those sub­mis­sions into ac­count when mak­ing a de­ci­sion about list­ing the place.

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