Robin Chapple says Aboriginal Minister has approved another Juukan Gorge level destruction.docx

WA Greens MLC Robin Chapple queries section 18 greenlit by Aboriginal Minister to destroy sites of “Juukan-level-significance”


WA Greens Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Robin Chapple has found that the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs approved a Section 18 application for the destruction of caves showing 43,000 years of Indigenous habitation at Rio Tinto’s Silvergrass operation.


Mr Chapple found, through Questions Without Notice this week, that the Minister was not aware of the Heritage value of the area despite publically available information on the high cultural significance of the sites.


The Minister called for the question to be submitted as a Question On Notice stating he would need to consult his department which Mr Chapple spoke generally of as ‘bizarre’ considering the information readily available to the Minister.


“The documents outlining the cultural value of the caves at Silvergrass are publically available on the Aboriginal Heritage Inquiry System, so why is the Minister asking a simple question to be put On Notice?”


“This is a situation almost identical to the devastating events of Juukan Gorge with the exception that this was approved entirely on the current Ministers watch”


“Questions On Notice require eleven sitting days of Parliament for response, it’s likely we would not get this answer in time for inclusion in the current Northern Australian Federal Inquiry into the destruction of Juukan Gorge”


Mr Chapple is calling on Rio Tinto to retract their Section 18 approval for destruction of Heritage granted by the Minister for their Silvergrass operation.

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