22 July 2020
Read our submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into the destruction of the 46,000-year-old caves at the Juukan Gorge (link below). We argue that it demonstrates profound failings in the legislation to protect Australia’s heritage, not only in WA, but also in the Commonwealth, which was missing in action.
Commonwealth Environment Minister Sussan Ley justified doing nothing on the grounds that there was no application for protection, but it emerges today that when the traditional owners of the Shenhua Watermark site on the Liverpool Plains did apply for protections, the Minister refused to grant protection, allowing an open-cut coalmine to proceed. This highlights the need for ‘an independent compliance and enforcement regulator’, as called for by the Review into the EBPC Act.