Sa­cred site con­cerns

Pilbara News - - Yule River meeting - Tom Zaun­mayr

Con­cerns have been raised about the num­ber of sa­cred sites which may have been de­stroyed since be­ing de-reg­is­tered.

The State Gov­ern­ment caused out­rage among in­dige­nous com­mu­ni­ties when they struck 35 sites off the her­itage reg­is­ter two years ago.

Greens Mem­ber for Min­ing and Pas­toral Robin Chap­ple said many sites had since been dis­turbed, in­clud­ing two con­firmed cases in the Gold­fields.

“I think that’s why the Gov­ern­ment has a huge prob­lem do­ing the re­assess­ment be­cause I think most of the sites are gone,” he said.

“The Gov­ern­ment gave them per­mis­sion un­der a le­gal in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the act so in essence who is li­able, the State Gov­ern­ment or the min­ing com­pany? They are caught in that quandary and I think you will find that is the case with most of those 35 sites.”

Mr Chap­ple said the State needed an Abo­rig­i­nal her­itage act which ac­tu­ally pro­tected her­itage.

“If you are go­ing to have a gen­uine (Abo­rig­i­nal Cul­tural Ma­te­ri­als Com­mit­tee), you need to have an ACMC meet at least twice a week where we start ac­tu­ally deal­ing with all these sites in a mean­ing­ful way,” he said.

He said fund­ing of travel costs to bring the ACMC to­gether so reg­u­larly should not be an is­sue.

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