Future of James Price Point and Burrup Peninsula still hang in the balance

Monday, 14 November

Both James Price Point and Murujuga (Burrup Peninsula) will have their heritage status reassessed at next month’s Aboriginal Cultural Materials Committee (ACMC) meeting, some 18 months after the Supreme Court decision which found 35 Aboriginal Heritage sites had been unlawfully deregistered.

WA Greens Aboriginal Affairs spokesperson Robin Chapple MLC said it was a disgrace the sites even had to be reassessed, given the incredible significance of both sites and the Supreme Court’s determination.

“As recommended by an Industry Working Group in 2012, the State Solicitor’s Office provided new guidelines on the definition of ‘mythological sites’ under section 5(b) of the Aboriginal Heritage Act leading to the unlawful deregistration of 35 sites. You had a situation where industry effectively told government the easiest possible method for them to circumvent Aboriginal Heritage,” Mr Chapple.

“Many of these sites have now been impacted or destroyed as their approvals were fast tracked and granted in the few short years the illegal guidelines stood, yet the Department of Aboriginal Affairs refuses to admit fault and continues to insist the sites be re-subjected to the painfully slow registration process.

“James Price Point forms part of ancient Aboriginal song line with enormous cultural significance to the more than 30 nations that remain in the area today, with evidence of habitation at the site dating back almost 30,000 years.

“JPP is also home to rare Spinner Dolphins, endangered Hawksbill Turtles and Dugongs, and an incredible collection of fossilised Cretaceous Dinosaur footprints.

“Murujuga has literally millions of beautifully preserved carvings, potentially more than 30,000 years old, and some of the world’s earliest known recordings of human faces. It is a living art gallery unlike no other and has been the subject of World Heritage for decades.

“Despite all the rhetoric from Colin Barnett and others about the importance of these sites, it is actions that speak louder than words and they have done nothing to extend these places the extreme protection they deserve.”

The closing date for written submissions on the reassessment of both DAA 30274 LSC11 (James Price Point) and DAA 23323 Burrup Peninsula, Murujuga is 5pm Friday 25 November, 2016.

Submissions can either be posted to:

Registrar of Aboriginal Sites
PO Box 3153
East Perth WA 6892

Or emailed to: registrar@daa.wa.gov.au

For more information please contact Tim Oliver on 0431 9696 25.

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