SA­CRED SHITE

Con­trac­tor sacked af­ter defe­cat­ing on Devils Mar­bles

Sunday Territorian - - FRONT PAGE -

A TER­RI­TORY tradie has been sacked af­ter his mates filmed him tak­ing a dump on a sa­cred site in Cen­tral Aus­tralia — dur­ing “per­sonal time” — while he was in the re­gion to work on a power sta­tion up­grade.

The video — ob­tained by the Sun­day Ter­ri­to­rian — shows the man re­mov­ing his shorts and jocks be­fore defe­cat­ing while stand­ing on Devils Mar­bles, 100km south of Ten­nant Creek.

Peo­ple be­hind the cam­era can be heard laugh­ing.

Work­ers were re­port­edly told to delete the footage from their de­vices.

Clarke En­ergy — the con­trac­tor re­spon­si­ble for the Ter­ri­tory Gen­er­a­tion power sta­tion ex­pan­sion at Ten­nant Creek — has is­sued a pub­lic apol­ogy to tra­di­tional own­ers and stake­hold­ers over the in­ci­dent. A Clarke En­ergy spokesman said in a state­ment: “The in­ci­dent re­ported to us is ex­tremely dis­ap­point­ing.”

“The al­leged ac­tions of this in­di­vid­ual are at odds with the be­hav­iour we ex­pect of em­ploy­ees, sub­con­trac­tors and as­so­ciates,” the state­ment said.

The spokesman said the man, who worked for power sta­tion sub­con­trac­tor Nilsen Elec­tri­cal, had his em­ploy­ment ter­mi­nated. “Nilsen Elec­tri­cal (man­age­ment) will as­cer­tain if any other em­ploy­ees are im­pli­cated,” he said.

The Sun­day Ter­ri­to­rian un­der­stands the Cen­tral Land Coun­cil will con­sult tra­di­tional own­ers over the des­e­cra­tion.

Ter­ri­tory Gen­er­a­tion chief Tim Duig­nan said the agency would re­view its project con­tracts.

“We ex­pect both Clarke En­ergy and Nilsen will re­port the mat­ter to the cor­rect chan­nels,” he said.

Parks and Wildlife Cen­tral Aus­tralian Parks boss Chris Day said: “Tra­di­tional own­ers and parks man­agers would be of­fended and up­set to hear of this act.”

Abo­rig­i­nal Ar­eas Pro­tec­tion Au­thor­ity pol­icy di­rec­tor Matthew Dean said the or­gan­i­sa­tion was aware of the al­le­ga­tions.

“We are look­ing into it,” he said.

Devils Mar­bles — Karlu Karlu Con­ser­va­tion Re­serve — was of­fi­cially handed back to tra­di­tional own­ers in 2008.

The pop­u­lar tourist spot has a camp­site and day-use fa­cil­i­ties in­clud­ing pub­lic toi­lets.

Any­one who defe­cates in pub­lic, in a pro­tected con­ser­va­tion area or a sa­cred site stands to be fined or pros­e­cuted.

The NT Parks and Wildlife Con­ser­va­tion Act pro­hibits climb­ing and dam­ag­ing Devils Mar­bles. It states “a per­son must not in a park or re­serve de­posit or dis­charge nox­ious, of­fen­sive or pol­lut­ing sub­stances or ma­te­rial”. The NT Sa­cred Sites Act is de­signed to pro­tect cul­tural her­itage ar­eas from des­e­cra­tion.

Po­lice may take ac­tion if they re­ceive a com­plaint about of­fen­sive be­hav­iour in pub­lic view. Barkly Di­vi­sion Act­ing Su­per­in­ten­dent Pauline Vi­cary told the Sun­day Ter­ri­to­rian: “This be­hav­iour is not ac­cept­able, and even less so in a place of sig­nif­i­cance to lo­cal cul­ture and a ma­jor tourist attraction.”

Main pic­ture: DENISE FLAY

A storm lin­ger­ing over the Devils Mar­bles re­cently and (inset) a screen­shot of the man defe­cat­ing

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