YMAC Co-Chairperson Doris Eaton and CEO Simon Hawkins spoke to ABC Mornings regarding the changes to the Aboriginal Heritage Act and the introduction of the amendment bill to parliament on 27 November 2014.
Listen the the interview below.
For more information on changes to the Aboriginal Heritage Act click here.
On Friday May 25, the Federal Court handed down a native title determination to the Nyangumarta and Karajarri communities across shared country near 80 Mile Beach in Western Australia.
The Nyangumarta/Karajarri joint determination resolves two overlapping claims of the Nyangumarta and Karajarri peoples, two different tribal groups who share traditional laws and cultural connection to the area. Justice North handed down the Federal Court’s decision at an on-country determination at Anna Plains Station.
The Kimberley Land Council and the Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation acted on behalf of the Karajarri and Nyangumarta claimants to negotiate native title across 2,000 square kilometres of land and sea country across Anna Plains Station, a portion of Mandora Station and 80 Mile Beach, in the East Pilbara and West Kimberley regions of WA.
In an interview on ABC Mid West radio, Wajarri Yamatji Traditional Owner, Anthony Dann, responded to the State Government’s 2012 discussion paper on proposed changes to the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (AHA).
In the interview, Mr Dann strongly outlined his concerns about the short timeframe for comment on such significant changes to the protection of Aboriginal heritage, and the lack of consultation with Traditional Owners over the proposed reforms.
Mr Dann said that Aboriginal people are rapidly losing their input into heritage development under the AHA, as Traditional Owners aren’t offered the same appeal opportunities as land developers.
After announcing a 12 month review into Aboriginal cultural heritage processes last May, the Government has held no formal consultation with Traditional Owners and only allowed five weeks for comment on the proposed changes to the AHA outlined in the discussion paper.
Mr Dann also said a significant review of the AHA was needed because it does not provide adequate protection for Aboriginal Heritage, and that Native Title negotiation processes are at present the only means for Traditional Owners to take part in consultations over protected Aboriginal sites.
For more information about the proposed reforms to the AHA, including links to the discussion paper and YMAC’s media release, please click here.