Up­set as Act stalls

Pilbara News - - Pilbara News - Te­gan Guthrie

Con­tro­ver­sial amend­ments to WA’s Abo­rig­i­nal Her­itage Act have come to a stand­still, with Abo­rig­i­nal Af­fairs Min­is­ter Peter Col­lier ad­mit­ting pro­posed changes would not make it through Par­lia­ment in the fi­nal sit­ting weeks.

The pro­posed leg­is­la­tion, in­tro­duced to Par­lia­ment in late 2014, will now be taken to the up­com­ing State Elec­tion, with Mr Col­lier re­veal­ing there were too many pieces of leg­is­la­tion to get through in the fi­nal four sit­ting weeks of Par­lia­ment.

He ad­mit­ted dif­fi­cul­ties gain­ing The Na­tion­als’ sup­port for the leg­is­la­tion early on had slowed down the process, but said a com­pro­mise had now been reached.

“It is a very sig­nif­i­cant piece of leg­is­la­tion so I don’t want to bull­doze it through the Par­lia­ment and then be ac­cused of do­ing ex­actly that,” he said.

The pro­posed changes to the 40-year-old Act in­clude giv­ing full re­spon­si­bil­ity for eval­u­at­ing the sig­nif­i­cance of Abo­rig­i­nal her­itage to the chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Depart­ment of Abo­rig­i­nal Af­fairs, and in­creased penal­ties for those who dam­age or de­stroy Abo­rig­i­nal her­itage. WA Greens mem­ber for the Min­ing and Pas­toral Re­gion Robin Chap­ple crit­i­cised Mr Col­lier for recom­mit­ting to the changes, say­ing the Act needed to be rewrit­ten with con­sid­er­able con­tri­bu­tion from Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple.

Mem­ber for Kal­go­or­lie Wendy Dun­can said the Na­tion­als had sub­mit­ted amend­ments to Mr Col­lier’s pro­posed changes, which ad­dressed con­cerns over giv­ing power solely to the chief ex­ec­u­tive.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr.

Greens Mem­ber for Min­ing and Pas­toral Robin Chap­ple.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.