Minister Tony Burke, Premier Barnett: We the people, demand full protection of Aboriginal Heritage sites in WA
Many ancient Aboriginal heritage sites contain rock art, relics, dinasaur footprints and skeletal remains, which are thousands of years old. These areas are of vital importance to the original inhabitants of our country in terms of the continuation of their cultural practice. Ancient stories are recorded in beautiful pictographs in many sacred sites and have been handed down for countless generations.
But this is the history of our country, and as such, is of huge significance to all of us. Our precious heritage areas should be shown the appropriate respect and protected at all costs. However, mining and development interests take precedence over all else in Australia, and a large amount of rock art and a huge number of sacred sites have been vandalised or totally obliterated by mining companies, owing to the weaknesses of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (WA).
Please help us fight the rampant greed of big business and stop the wanton desecration and destruction of our precious Indigenous culture. Sign this petition, get others to do the same and send a personal letter to the ministers this petition is addressing.
Protect Indigenous Heritage sites in Western Australia
We are all people who take a keen interest in Indigenous affairs, Aboriginal heritage and culture. The proposed changes to the Aboriginal Heritage Act (AHA) make it even less effective than the current Act in protecting Aboriginal sites. ‘Efficiency’ and ‘certainty’ will be provided, but only for the benefit of the mining industry.
All over the world various nations celebrate and preserve their cultural heritage. In England they have Stonehenge which has been confirmed to be a burial site. It dates back 4,000 years and is a must see tourist destination. Australia’s Aboriginal Heritage sites date back over 80,000 years, making Stonehenge seem young in comparison. The fact that our Government allows these sites to be destroyed is totally unacceptable; it would be equivalent to bulldozing the pyramids.
Any Changes to the Aboriginal Heritage Act should be to create further protection, not make it easy for mining companies to destroy sites simply for monetary gain. The FACT that 80% of mining activities in Australia take place on Aboriginal land is the main factor why changes are currently being made.
Please don’t wait until we’re about to lose these precious assets before, deciding to protect them.