- Tony BurkeMinister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
Protect sacred aboriginal burial grounds in the Kimberley
The WA State government has given permission for Woodside's proposed gas plant to disturb ancient burial grounds in the dunes near James Price Point (Walmadany) without giving any rationale, and despite findings by a previous State Government that these sites must be protected for environmental and cultural heritage reasons.
Traditional owner, Teresa Roe says, “My spirit comes from this country. My sister was stolen by welfare so my parents hid me, so I could be raised on country with my culture. I raised 9 of my own children and 8 of my sisters children after she passed away. My sons are the law men for this country. They have the responsibility to protect it. They hold the songs, the stories. Our ancestors are buried in those dunes. No one would allow a whitefella cemetery to be dug up so why here?
When Tony Burke sat down with us he looked me in the eye, and I told him “I kept my country alive… I don’t want anybody destroying it. I don’t want the money, I want the country and my spirit."
The state government has failed us. We need Tony Burke to step in and act.”
- Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
We are calling on you to act as a matter of urgency to stop the destruction of Aboriginal heritage which has been authorised under a Section 18 (permission to desecrate an Aboriginal site) by the WA State Government.
Woodside have already done substantial damage to country with the exploratory works for their massive gas plant, before final approval of this project has even gone ahead. Their application to disturb the ancient burial grounds and middens as part of this ongoing exploratory work must not be allowed to proceed.
Joseph Roe, on behalf of the Goolarabooloo people, has lodged a Section 9 and Section 10 (which grants emergency and long term protection) under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act and we are calling on you to exercise your responsibility under Federal Aboriginal Heritage Law and grant immediate protection of this area.
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