YMAC fights for Aboriginal heritage act re-draft

06/03/2015 - 14:26

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Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation says it will continue to lobby and fight for the Aboriginal Heritage Act Amendment Bill, which is currently before parliament, to be re-drafted.

YMAC chief executive Simon Hawkins.

Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation says it will continue to lobby and fight for the Aboriginal Heritage Act Amendment Bill, which is currently before parliament, to be re-drafted.

YMAC said following a two-day meeting of WA Alliance of Aboriginal Land Councils, the representatives agreed amendments must include the voice of Aboriginal people.

Co-chair Doris Eaton said Aboriginal people were still not being consulted on matters concerning their heritage and culture.

“We as Aboriginal people still practise our culture and traditions on-country. We still speak our language,” she said.

The changes to the act are the result of the pace of economic development in recent years, particularly within the resources and construction sectors.

It has highlighted inadequacies within current legislation and urges changes to ensure that Aboriginal heritage can continue to be protected.

“We are not saying no to mining. We are asking for the act designed to protect our heritage, to be fair for all people,” Mrs Eaton said.

“We are ready to assist the government in coming to an acceptable position in reforming the act.”

YMAC chief executive Simon Hawkins said the current amendment bill did not address the fundamental inequities contained within the Act.

“There are subtle changes contained within (the act) that look innocuous enough, but could have a detrimental effect when it comes to protection of Aboriginal heritage,” he said.

“The Amendment Bill before parliament is a vastly watered down approach and we are urging the government to consult and re-draft.”

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