Par­ties flag in­dige­nous af­fairs re­forms

Pilbara News - - News - Pe­ter Milne

Abo­rig­i­nal her­itage man­age­ment and the ef­fect it has on re­sources projects are in for a big shake-up af­ter the State elec­tion, re­gard­less of the win­ning party.

Greens spokesman for Abo­rig­i­nal is­sues and min­ing Robin Chap­ple con­demned the ex­ist­ing ar­range­ments yes­ter­day, telling a min­ing con­fer­ence re­quire­ments for her­itage sur­veys were ex­ces­sive.

Mr Chap­ple de­scribed the De­part­ment of Abo­rig­i­nal Af­fairs as the worst de­part­ment in the State.

“You don’t need to do half the things the DAA are telling you to do,” he said at the AMEC Min­ing and the En­vi­ron­ment Con­fer­ence.

“The key is­sue is to get a func­tion­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion that ac­tu­ally as­sists peo­ple in the process.”

Abo­rig­i­nal Af­fairs Min­is­ter Pe­ter Collier de­fended his de­part­ment.

“The De­part­ment of Abo­rig­i­nal Af­fairs has gone through ma­jor changes, in­clud­ing a 30 per cent re­duc­tion in staff and a review of the Her­itage Direc­torate,” Mr Collier said.

The DAA ad­min­is­ters her­itage ap­provals un­der the 45-year-old Abo­rig­i­nal Her­itage Act, which all ma­jor par­ties want to over­haul. The State Gov­ern­ment put for­ward amend­ments in late 2014 but the pro­posed leg­is­la­tion stalled in Par­lia­ment.

“It is still firmly my in­ten­tion to pur­sue those should we win,” Mr Collier said.

Shadow Abo­rig­i­nal af­fairs min­is­ter Ben Wy­att said the pro­posed leg­isla­tive change had failed in Par­lia­ment as the Gov­ern­ment erred in not in­volv­ing Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple in the new regime.

Mr Wy­att said there had to be a sys­tem that re­spected that Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple owned the her­itage and wanted a role in its pro­tec­tion. Her­itage pro­tec­tion had to ex­ist with in­dus­try and job cre­ation, he said.

The Greens’ Robin Chap­ple says the De­part­ment of Abo­rig­i­nal Af­fairs is the worst de­part­ment in the State.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.