James Price Point stripped of any heritage value

Tuesday, 2 June 

WA Greens spokesperson for Aboriginal Affairs Robin Chapple MLC has expressed dismay at revelations site ‘LSC11, the ‘Lurujarri Song Cycle’ path, is not considered to be of heritage value by the Department of Aboriginal Affairs (DAA).

Walmadany, or James Price Point, is an Aboriginal site of immense mythological value to all Aboriginal communities from Broome (Minyirr) through to Coulomb Point (Minarriny) for its place in the song cycle path.

Mr Chapple said it was curious that the State Solicitor’s Office (SSO) advice on section 5(b) of the Aboriginal Heritage Act (AHA) was sought within the timeframe of the Aboriginal Cultural Materials Committee’s (ACMC) assessment of the ‘song cycle path’.

“Advice from the SSO allowing a new interpretation of section 5(b) of the act was endorsed by the ACMC at a time when the government was simultaneously pushing ahead with its Browse industrial hub proposal for James Price Point,” he said.

“This same SSO advice allowed for the song cycle path to be removed from any heritage lists entirely and it’s record is now kept by DAA in the heritage category of ‘Stored Data/Not a Site’.

“We are talking about a significant piece of heritage for the Aboriginal communities of the Dampier Peninsula, an oral heritage map or living memory of the landscape and its traditions passed down through generations.

“Whilst I’m not suggesting there was any malicious intent behind these actions, I do find it curious that a place of such significance was stripped of any legal heritage value at the same time as this controversial project was being promoted by the government.

“Aboriginal site LSC11 was lodged by DAA officers on 27 July 2011 as an Aboriginal Heritage site with section 5(a) – (d) of the AHA being shown as applicable.

“I would like to see a promise from this government that, in light of the recent Supreme Court decision and sheer weight of protest against development at this sacred site, any Aboriginal sites associated with James Price Point, especially LSC11, will be reassessed for their heritage value with renewed vitality.”

For comment please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263 or 9486 8255.

Media liaison: Tim Oliver // 0431 9696 25         

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