Conflict over Western Australia’s new Cultural Heritage laws

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Image courtesy: Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA

Backlash against Western Australia’s new Cultural Heritage laws has caused the state government to amend the legislation, in favour of the resource and mining sectors. 

At the centre of the new laws is greater involvement of traditional owners, higher protection for sites of cultural significance and local representative groups playing a key role in the approval process. The Act originally applied new, more rigorous requirements to Indigenous heritage surveys undertaken after July 1st. But those guidelines were re-published on Friday, with the start date for stricter heritage surveys having been pushed back by a year. 

Concern over the law has been cited as a key factor in WA’s growing ‘no’ vote in the Voice to Parliament referendum.  Greens Senator and Yamatji–Noongar woman, Dorinda Cox, has spoken up in criticism of changes to the Act. 

Negaarada Media’s Conrad MacLean has the report. 

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