Woodside given go-ahead to destroy Aboriginal sites at James Price Point

Greens Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region and Greens WA spokesperson on Aboriginal affairs Robin Chapple has lashed out in response to yesterday’s decision by State Aboriginal Affairs Minister Peter Collier to give Woodside the go-ahead to destroy Aboriginal sites at James Price Point.

“The Section 18 approval of ground disturbing works flies in the face of previous recommendations and Court decisions not to allow mining in the area due to its cultural and environmental significance,” Mr Chapple said.

“I am appalled at the Aboriginal Cultural Materials Committee’s recommendation to permit the works to go ahead; although I am prepared to accept that they may well have done so under duress.

“In 1991, the ACMC recommended that ‘no exploration activity should occur in the areas defined at the Song Cycle path’ and nothing has occurred to diminish its significance.

“At the same time the Environmental Protection Authority recommended no ground-disturbing works be permitted west of the Manari Road or east of the road without approval from the Minister for the Environment, as the area was part of the proposed Dampierland National Park and the WA Museum had plans to declare it a Protected Area under the Aboriginal Heritage Act.

“The ACMC is a toothless tiger that consistently fails to protect sites, and the Aboriginal Affairs Minister should be ashamed of himself for allowing the Minister for State Development, Colin Barnett, who is also the proponent in the Browse LNG project, to call the shots.

“Of course the Premier will always find in favour of Browse LNG project operator Woodside, in what is the cosiest arrangement since WA Inc.

“In this Barnett-Grylls government there is no-one standing up for Aboriginal Heritage Protection, just as there is no-one standing up for environmental protection.

“The Aboriginal Heritage Act provides just a thin veneer of protection, which has being weakened further since the John Avery review conducted last year,” Mr Chapple said.

For more information please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263 or 9486 8255

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