Country, Culture, People, Future

October 2011

2010/11 YMAC Annual Report now available

Posted: October 25th, 2011

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YMAC is proud to release our Annual Report for the 2010-11 financial year. In addition to our complete financial statements, the report also contains many highlights from the year, a message from the CEO, a report from the Board of Directors and many beautiful pictures of country.

Click here to download our Annual Report from our website or email srosenfeld@ymac.org.au to request a hard copy.

YMAC welcomes the Auditor General’s findings on heritage

Posted: October 17th, 2011

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YMAC welcomes the findings of the recent Auditor General’s report on compliance with mining conditions, which highlights what Traditional Owners already know: that Aboriginal heritage in WA is not being adequately protected by the State.


The Auditor General found that the Department of Indigenous Affairs (DIA), which administers the Aboriginal Heritage Act, has failed in its responsibility to monitor compliance with conditions it places on miners for protection of heritage sites. The report states that DIA “has only undertaken inspections of heritage sites when responding to complaints it received, but has taken no enforcement action when it has found non-compliance.”

Peter Jeffries, Acting CEO of YMAC, said, “The AHA operates more as an approval mechanism for the destruction of Aboriginal heritage than as a means for protecting it. YMAC has worked hard over the years to make sure agreements are in place between native title groups and companies to protect heritage. If it weren’t for these private agreements, there would be no real protection for Aboriginal heritage in areas of high development like the Pilbara and Midwest. This report has shown that there are no consequences for illegally destroying Aboriginal heritage in the course of mining projects.”

The report highlights the need to improve the processes for protecting Aboriginal heritage in WA. A review of the Aboriginal Heritage Act was announced in June 2011, but past reviews have not led to improvements in the system.

“We sincerely hope that the review of the Aboriginal Heritage Act leads to major reform that takes into account the importance of our State’s Aboriginal heritage and gives Aboriginal people a significant say in how approvals to destroy heritage are granted,” said Mr. Jeffries.

Eighty Mile Beach management plan now open for comment

Posted: October 5th, 2011

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Janet Stewart, Minister Marmion and Nyaparu Rose

Last week in Broome, the WA Minister for Environment Bill Marmion released the Indicative Management Plan for the proposed Eighty Mile Beach Marine Park. Nyangumarta traditional owners Nyaparu Rose and Janet Stewart attended the announcement on friday, as the Nyanguamrta people have had a significant involvement in the development of the Plan.

In a statement, Minister Marmion said, “The proposed Eighty Mile Beach marine park will provide protection for a unique and spectacular part of the lower west Kimberley coastline, while providing for sustainable tourism use and enjoyment of the area and the maintenance of Aboriginal culture and heritage.”

Eighty Mile Beach is an area rich in biodiversity and cultural heritage, and it is very important to the Nyangumarta people to use their vast traditional knowledge to manage the area responsibly.

The Management Plan, which will guide management of the park for the next ten years, is now open for public comment until 20 January, 2012. For more information or to download the Management Plan, go to http://www.dec.wa.gov.au/content/view/6717/2323/ .