Minister breaks promise on important heritage sites

Wednesday, 16 March

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Peter Collier acknowledged yesterday in Parliament that 14 culturally significant sites near Port Hedland had not, and likely would not, be assessed in the near future despite years of promises.

WA Greens spokesperson for Aboriginal Affairs Robin Chapple MLC said the lack of respect shown by the Minister with regards to Aboriginal heritage sites was simply appalling.

“This is a Minister who has either completely lost control of his department, or simply does not care about the people and culture who fall under his jurisdiction,” Mr Chapple said.

“I wrote to the Minister in January 2013 requesting, on behalf of traditional owners, that these sites be assessed as a matter of priority due to their location and cultural significance.

“The Minister promised that the assessment would happen by the March 2013 ACMC meeting, something which never eventuated.

“I have reminded the Minister several times on record that he made that promise to the Kariyarra people of Port Hedland.

“I am almost at my wits end; this is yet another example of how this government is systematically failing Aboriginal people in Western Australia on a personal, departmental and ministerial level.”

For comment please contact media liaison Tim Oliver on 08 9486 8255 or 0431 9696 25.

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