Last week, the National Native Title Council made a policy submission into the Senate Inquiry on the destruction of 46,000 year old caves at Juukan Gorge in the Western Pilbara. The cultural heritage site was blown up by mining company Rio Tinto in May, after the Traditional Owners fought a seven year legal battle to have their heritage protected.
The NNTC’s policy submission calls for the federal government to adopt best practice national standards in Indigenous cultural heritage management, which would bring Australia in line with global standards. Current legislation in the states and territories, and nationally, is failing to protect the rights and interests of Traditional Owners. Instead it strongly favours mining and other industries. Traditional Owners must be empowered to manage and protect their own heritage. What happened at Juukan Gorge is just the tip of the iceberg. Hundreds of cultural heritage sites around Australia are currently under threat.
You can read our submission into the Juukan Gorge Senate Inquiry here.
See the video below as our CEO Jamie Lowe explains what happened at Juukan Gorge.