Ancient Aboriginal sites at risk in the Pilbara

Published in News on May 01, 2014 by Abbott Native Title Trustees with no comments.

Forty-two years ago, the first heritage law in Australia designed to protect Aboriginal sites was declared in Western Australia. It was a landmark move by a state government facing its first major resource boom.

Mining was precisely the reason why a new Aboriginal Heritage Act (1972) was needed, then minister for community welfare Bill Willesee told state parliament.

Ancient rock paintings, standing stones and scattered artefacts had once been protected by their remote location, but mining activity that ramped up in the early 1960s had triggered “fears for the safety of sites of importance to Aborigines”.

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